Thursday, February 26, 2009

Portrait of Tina Modotti #2


T. Renner, "Portrait of Tina Modotti #2," 2009, pastels on paper, 11" x 15".

Here's another portrait of Tina Modotti; this time in the style of the cover of The Wild Party original Broadway cast compact disc.

Here's a review of the biography Shadows, Fire, Snow: The Life of Tina Modotti by Patricia Albers from Publishers Weekly:
Art historians have called Tina Modotti (1896-1942) "the best-known unknown photographer of the 20th century." She also acted in silent films in Hollywood, went to Mexico with Edward Weston in 1922, was a nurse in Spain's Civil War and a prominent Communist, antifascist and internationalist. Partner to equally extraordinary men, friend to the most creative minds of her generation, she died alone in a taxi cab at the age of 46.

Shadows, Fire, Snow is her first truly satisfying biography. Patricia Albers has built upon Mildred Constantine's Tina Modotti: A Fragile Life and Margaret Hooks's Tina Modotti: Photographer and Revolutionary, but hers is a more deftly researched book that takes greater risks. In tightly written passages -- almost too dense at times -- she beautifully evokes pivotal scenes in Modotti's artistic and political development, revealing her generosity of spirit and the passionate commitment to her ideals that kept her moving from country to country and eventually drove her to give up her art. This is a biography divided by place -- Italy, Austria, Hollywood, Mexico City, Berlin, Moscow, Madrid -- and about a woman who longed to be rooted to a place, but who couldn't allow herself to settle down. Albers's understanding of this contradiction provides the narrative tension that makes this biography such riveting reading (and great film material).

Throughout Modotti's short life, she counted among her friends and co-workers Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, American writer John Dos Passos and Russian revolutionary and feminist Alexandra Kollontai, among many others. Modotti's photographs were often documentary in nature, what Carleton Beals called seeking the "perfect snapshot." Albers's rendition of Modotti's life goes a long way toward allowing us to understand this extraordinary woman.

3 comments:

Confluence City said...

super cool

Colin said...

Mmmmm... I like this one a little better, dunno why

Pat said...

Nice picture.
You might dig this
How to Be a Legend: Tina Modotti
http://amovingtarget.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/how-to-be-a-legend-tina-modotti/

Best of all possible regards,
Pat Hartman