"Fittingly, Tina Modotti died en route. Though she reveled in being of a place, a people, a profession, all proved slippery to her touch. No sooner did she plant one foot on firm ground than the earth eroded under the other, leaving her geographically and emotionally homeless. Acknowledging a "tragic conflict between life which continually changes and form which fixes it immutable," she responded by improvising, with all the grace she could muster, a series of remarkable lives." - from Shadows, Fire, Snow, The Life of Tina Modotti by Patricia Albers
This is a very beautiful book about one of those twentieth century lives that beggars belief. Modotti was an Italian emigré; a movie star; a founding modernist in Mexico; a Communist spy; friend to Frida Kahlo and Pablo Neruda; lover, colleague, and muse to Edward Weston and Diego Rivera. Her photographs are stark and sensual. Her story might have disappeared were it not for two trunks of letters and photographs belonging to her husband that were passed on to the author.