Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tina Modotti: A Fragile Life

Tina in Glendale, by Edward Weston, 1922

Tina Modotti: A Fragile Life

The following is taken from the introduction:

"If there is a public image of Tina Modotti, it is based on gossipy notations of a few chroniclers offering mere notoriety. To certain brief acquaintances, Tina Modotti is known only as the apprentice, model and mistress of the great American photographer Edward Weston. A great and flamboyant beauty, a woman of many loves and numerous escapades, she was proclaimed a great mystery.

This brochure yielded some facts hitherto unknown to me..

Tina was an Italian who had come to the United States in 1913.
Tina had been married to an American.
Tina has been an actress in Hollywood.
Tina had been Weston's apprentice, model and companion and they had lived together in Mexico from 1923 to 1926".
Tina had been the companion of a Cuban, Julio Antonio Mella, who had been assassinated in Mexico.
Tina was expelled from Mexcio in 1930.
Tina had been in the Soviet Union.
Tina had been in Spain - known as Maria - during the Spanish Civil War from 1935 to 1939.
Tina had returned to Mexico in 1939 and died there in 1942."

What an odd introduction. I also read "Tina had been the companion of a Cuban, Julio Antonio Mella, who had been assassinated in Mexico" and interpreted it in my brain, as Tina being the companion of a previously assassinated man, and therefore something of a necrophiliac. And then I realized I hadn't had coffee yet this morning and was being slow-witted. I also don't think she would have been too thrilled at having the word FRAGILE summing up her entire life but I don't suppose she really cares now.

This is a lovely book despite the peculiar introduction style.

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