TINA MODOTTI – THE BRIGHT STAR OF THE PHOTO ART OF THE FIRST HALF OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Biography of Tina Modotti is replete with a lot of interesting facts, which makes it look like a plot of a dramatic film. Creativity Tina Modotti is closely connected with significant events in her personal life and vice versa. She lived and worked in the same breath, and everything that happened to her found a certain reflection in her works. Therefore, to understand the creative path of Tina Modotti, it is necessary to become familiar with the significant events of her not very long, but very busy life.
This amazing woman was born in 1896 in the small Italian town of Udine, having received at birth the complex name of Assunta Adelaide Luigi Modotti Mondini.
Childhood girls was not easy. Due to poverty, when she was 10 years old she had to go to work at a weaving mill, so Tina Modotti did not have the opportunity to receive a proper education.
In 1913, due to the scandal in the homeland, Tina had to leave her native land and emigrate to America. There, she first worked in a weaving factory, but thanks to her bright and attractive appearance, she soon managed to get a job at a model agency. The model’s career opened the door to the Bohemian environment and the world of art in front of Tina Modotti.
The girl decided to try her hand as an actress, playing small roles in several productions. At this she decided not to stop and turned her eyes towards Hollywood. An attempt to get on the movie screen was successful, and literally at the same time, Tine was offered three roles in various films, where she successfully played. However, after that, the girl made the decision to abandon the career of a film actress – at that moment she was much more interested in photography art. One of Tina’s closest friends at the time was the famous photographer Edward Weston. After a brief acquaintance with the master of the photograph, Tina became first his model (including for the filming of nude), and eventually – the beloved.
In 1922, Tina Modotti, along with Edward Weston, went to Mexico. Local life, customs and landscapes are so inspired that she began to shoot on their own.
The first photographs of Modotti were made under the great influence of Weston, but over time she managed to find her own style, to make her pictures unique.
Carefully verified composition, sharp and unusual scenes make Tina Modotti’s photographs a bright phenomenon in the photo art of the 20s of the 20th century.
Unlike her teacher, Weston, Tina Modotti preferred to shoot not people who were not detached landscapes, but people. Human faces and sincere emotions were of great interest to the photo artist, served as the most significant source of inspiration.
Relations with Edward Weston in Mexico gradually faded away, and after a while Tina Modotti began an affair with the local communist Javier Guerrero. Like other men in her life, Guerrero had a significant influence on Tina’s work. At his request, she first joined the Communist Party, and then began to increasingly cover the revolutionary movement in her photographs.
During this period, Tina Modotti is widely recognized as a talented photographer not only in Mexico, but also far beyond its borders. The most striking works are published in famous American and European magazines.
In 1929, Tina Modotti organized a large exhibition of his photographs, which was called the “First Revolutionary Photo Exhibition of Mexico.” This is the peak of her career and the moment of universal acceptance.
Tina Modotti at that time not only led active social activities, but also was friends with many prominent political and revolutionary leaders. In addition, she had friendly relations with the famous Mexican artist Frida Calo.
Tina Modotti’s activities were not limited to art. There is strong evidence that she was associated with the secret services, including the Soviet ones. They also talked about her involvement in the murder of the famous revolutionary Julio Antonio Mella in 1929. After these events, Tina Modotti was forced to leave Mexico with her new lover, a Soviet spy Vittorio Vidal. In the 1930s, they were active in the USSR, Spain, and could also take part in the preparation of the attempt on Lev Trotsky.
Tina Modotti’s ambiguous political position did not prevent her from remaining a talented photographer. Her work has been widely recognized not only in Mexico, but also in European countries.
In 1942, at the age of 45, Tina Modotti died presumably from a heart attack. The circumstances of her death turned out to be so vague that they suspected anything, from suicide to being eliminated by the Soviet special services.
The death of Tina Modotti, as well as her entire short, but bright life, still stirs the minds of thousands of people.