Photographer, Revolutionary, Activist, Woman
In honor of Tina Modotti and in hopes of establishing a precedent to memorialize artists in the Bay Area
The Tina Modotti Heritage Committee succeeded in cementing a sidewalk plaque commemorating the fine art photographer and revolutionary activist, outside of her home at 1952 Taylor Street, in
San Francisco. [Photo: Lor O'Connor]
“I give my most heartfelt support to the naming of Tina Modotti Square in San Francisco. As the curator, with Peter Wollen, of the 1981 exhibition ‘Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti’, which debuted in London and traveled internationally, and as the director of the documentary film of the same name, I feel that the city of San Francisco should celebrate Tina Modotti as one of the very great photographic artists of the twentieth century. Her origins as an impoverished, teenage, immigrant from Italy, who found a new life in San Fransisco and flourished there, is worth remembering and celebrating as an emblem of the city’s and America’s traditional welcome to migrants.”
Author, Filmmaker, Curator, and Professor at the Birkbeck College of London
I cannot, as you [Edward Weston] once proposed to me—“solve the problem of life by losing myself in the problem of art”… in my case, life is always struggling to predominate and art naturally suffers.
'Not now' could mean 'maybe someday.' 'Not now' could mean, 'not after all the things I’ve seen and done. Not ever.'
I never would have believed that I would be so strong and not lose my head in a situation where the wind of collective insanity is blowing.
Without Tina Modotti, Weston would not have taken the photographs he took – he owes Mexico to Tina Modotti. Mexico was a very important part of his career.
Author of "Tinisma", 1992
As I investigated her life and work (I did not yet know to what end), I grew conscious of her fierce hopefulness, her poetic temperament, her courage in confronting poverty and pain, her nomadism, and her troubling fall from grace.
Author of "Shadows, Fire, Snow: The Life of Tina Modotti", 1990
Tina Modotti was a vital spirit in one of the most creative and evocative periods of the twentieth century. She was a woman created by many forces. She was a force of life of a great photographer as well as a highly talented photographer in her own right. Yet her work is known and recognized by only a small number of appreciative colleagues and historians. Seen up to now only through a shimmering veil, the woman Tina Modotti deserves to be brought sharply into focus, to be revealed as the gifted artist and the ardent revolutionary.
Author of "Tina Modotti: A Fragile Life", 1975
...she made difficult choices which flaunted tradition - sexual independence over marriage, political commitment in place of personal security, revolution rather than art.
Author of "Tina Modotti: Photographer and Revolutionary", 1992