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It's About People! Tina Modotti's Socially Engaged Photography

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This post is part of a series called Photographers of Substance.
Berlin Modern: Yva's Leading Creativity
Wooden staircase
Stairs, Mexico City. By Tina Modotti, 1924-26.

Tina Modotti's biography reads like an action thriller of the last century: exciting, fascinating and romantic. Her photography is formal, modernist, and poetic.

"A recognized master of early twentieth century photography, Tina Modotti began her fine art and documentary photography career in Mexico in the 1920s while working with Edward Weston."—The Library of Congress

Here, we have Stairs, Mexico City. On one level, a simple picture of simple stairs; wood and patina. But on another level, it's an abstracted meditation on architectural form and substance.

Telephone Wires, Mexico and Cactus have a similar feel. In others pictures, we can see the social engagement and politics that Modotti was so committed to: Workers Parade and Mella's Typewriter. On many levels, Tina Modotti was a photographer of substance. She also, obviously, had a great style!


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