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Zied Ben Romdhane
Zied Ben Romdhane

Zied Ben Romdhane

Country: Tunisia
Birth: 1981

Zied Ben Romdhane (b. 1981, Tunisia) started his career as a commercial photographer. In 2011 he switched to documentary photography and photojournalism. His work has been featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post

His recent exhibitions include Views of Tunisia (Arles 2013), After the Revolution (White Box, NY 2013), and Zones d’Attente (Clark House, Bombay 2013), Kushti (Maison de la Tunisie, Paris 2013), Fotofest Biennial in Houston Center for Photography (Houston , USA 2014), Sahel (1×1 Gallery, Dubai 2014), Trace (MUCEM, Marseille 2015) , Afrotopia African biennale of photography (Bamako , Mali 2017), and the Biennale of the photographs of the contemporary Arab world (France , Paris 2017).

Romdhane published his first book West of Life in 2018 with Red Hook Editions.

Prizes and awards include, selection for the Prize 6X6 Global Talent Program 2018 with World Press Photo Foundation, participant of Joop swart masterclass with World Press Photo, winner of the POPCAP award (Africa Image, Basel, 2015).

He is the Director of Photography of Fallega (2011), a documentary film about the Arab Spring in Tunisia. Ben Romdhane was a participant in World Press Photo’s 2013 Reporting Change initiative, member of the collective “Rawiya” and “Native”.

Zied Ben Romdhane joined Magnum as a nominee in 2019.

Source: Magnum Photos


“Zied is a documentary photographer who is using aesthetics in a tasteful way to invite the audience to his stories. His work is not pushing facts but instead he uses careful compositions that leaves room for the viewer to reflect on the images and their content.” - Rebecca Simons, Finland, independent curator, editor, educator and 6x6 nominator.

Zied Ben Romdhane is a Tunisian photographer. He won the POPCAP award in 2015, and his work has been featured in Irada and Dégage. He is the Director of Photography of Fallega (2011), a documentary film about the Arab Spring in Tunisia. Romdhane was also a participant in World Press Photo’s 2013 Reporting Change initiative.

Source: World Press Photo


 

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Larry Clark
United States
1943
Lawrence Donald Clark (born January 19, 1943) is an American film director, photographer, writer and film producer who is best known for his controversial teen film Kids (1995) and his photography book Tulsa (1971). His work focuses primarily on youth who casually engage in illegal drug use, underage sex, and violence, and who are part of a specific subculture, such as surfing, punk rock, or skateboarding. Larry Clark was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He learned photography at an early age. His mother was an itinerant baby photographer, and he was enlisted in the family business from the age of 13. His father was a traveling sales manager for the Reader Service Bureau, selling books and magazines door-to-door, and was rarely home. In 1959, Clark began injecting amphetamines with his friends. He attended the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he studied under Walter Sheffer and Gerhard Bakker. In 1964, he moved to New York City to freelance, but was drafted within two months into the United States Army. From 1964 to 1965, he served in the Vietnam War in a unit that supplied ammunition to units fighting in the north. His experiences there led him to publish the 1971 book Tulsa, a photo documentary illustrating his young friends' drug use in black and white. Routinely carrying a camera, from 1963 to 1971 Clark produced pictures of his drug-shooting coterie that have been described by critics as "exposing the reality of American suburban life at the fringe and ... shattering long-held mythical conventions that drugs and violence were an experience solely indicative of the urban landscape." His follow-up was Teenage Lust (1983), an "autobiography" of his teen past through the images of others. It included his family photos, more teenage drug use, graphic pictures of teenage sexual activity, and young male hustlers in Times Square, New York City. Clark constructed a photographic essay titled The Perfect Childhood that examined the effect of media in youth culture. His photographs are part of public collections at several art museums including the Whitney Museum of Art, Museum of Photographic Arts, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 1993, Clark directed Chris Isaak's music video Solitary Man. This experience developed into an interest in film direction. After publishing other photographic collections, Clark met Harmony Korine in New York City and asked Korine to write the screenplay for his first feature film Kids, which was released to controversy and mixed critical reception in 1995. Clark continued directing, filming a handful of additional independent feature films in the several years after this. In 2001, Clark shot three features Bully, Ken Park, and Teenage Caveman over a span of nine months. As of 2017, they are his last films to feature professional actors. Ken Park is a more sexually and violently graphic film than Kids, including a scene of auto-erotic asphyxiation and ejaculation by an emotionally rattled high-school boy (portrayed by James Ransone, then in his early 20s). As of 2015, it has not been widely released or distributed in the United States. In 2002, Clark spent several hours in a police cell after punching and trying to strangle Hamish McAlpine, the head of Metro Tartan, the UK distributor for Clark's film Ken Park. According to McAlpine, who was left with a broken nose, the incident arose from an argument about Israel and the Middle East, and he claims that he did not provoke Clark. In a 2016 interview, Clark discussed his lifelong struggle with drug abuse, although stating he maintained total sobriety while filmmaking. He confessed that the only exception made to his practice of abstinence while filming was Marfa Girl. Clark explained that while filming that movie he used opiates for pain due to double knee replacement surgery. In 2015, Clark collaborated alongside notable skateboard and clothing brand, Supreme, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Kids with a collection of decks, T-shirts, and sweatshirts that feature stills from the iconic film. The collection was released on May 21, 2015 in Supreme's New York, Los Angeles, and London locations and on May 23 in their Japan location.Source: Wikipedia Larry Clark, born in Tulsa, worked in his family's commercial photographic portrait business before studying photography with Walter Sheffer at the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1961 to 1963. He served in the military during the Vietnam War and has been a freelance photographer based in New York since 1966. During the 1960s, Clark documented the culture of drug use and illicit activity of his friends in Tulsa, and his photographs from those years were published as Tulsa (1971). Considered shocking for its graphic portrayal of the intimate details of its subjects' risky lives, the book launched Clark's career. After Tulsa, he produced Teenage Lust (1983), a series of photographs depicting adolescent sexuality, Larry Clark (1992), and The Perfect Childhood (1993). His work has been included in group and solo exhibitions since the early 1970s, and he was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Photographers' Fellowship in 1973 and a Creative Arts Public Service photographers' grant in 1980. Clark has also produced films; Kids (1994), based on his experiences with New York City teenagers and their culture of drugs, alcohol, and sex, and Another Day in Paradise (1999). Larry Clark's photographs in Tulsa are unflinching portrayals of difficult and often unsightly circumstances viewed through a participant's eyes. Their first-hand intensity recollects the work of Danny Lyon and Bruce Davidson, but Clark's raw voyeurism and insistent exposure of detail results in a somberness that differentiates his work from that of others in the early 1970s. His recent photography addresses similar subjects, but with the distance of an observer, and a more prominent formal sensibility.Source: International Center of Photography
O. Winston Link
United States
1914 | † 2001
Ogle Winston Link (December 16, 1914 – January 30, 2001), known commonly as O. Winston Link, was an American photographer, best known for his black-and-white photography and sound recordings of the last days of steam locomotive railroading on the Norfolk & Western in the United States in the late 1950s. A commercial photographer, Link helped establish rail photography as a hobby. He also pioneered night photography, producing several well-known examples including Hotshot Eastbound, a photograph of a steam train passing a drive-in movie theater, and Hawksbill Creek Swimming Hole showing a train crossing a bridge above children bathing. O. Winston Link and his siblings, Eleanor and Albert Jr., spent their childhood in the borough of Brooklyn, New York City, where they lived with their parents, Albert Link, Sr. and Anne Winston Jones Link. Link's given names honor ancestors Alexander Ogle and John Winston Jones, who had served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 19th century. Al Link taught woodworking in the New York City Public School system, and encouraged his children's interest in arts and crafts, and first introduced Winston to photography. Link's early photography was created with a borrowed medium format Autographic Kodak camera. By the time he was in high school, he had built his own photographic enlarger. After completing high school, Link attended the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, receiving a degree in civil engineering. Before his graduation in 1937, he spoke at a banquet for the institute's newspaper, where he served as photo editor. An executive from Carl Byoir's public relations firm was present and was impressed by Link's speaking ability. He offered Link a job as a photographer. O. Winston Link worked for Carl Byoir and Associates for five years, learning his trade on the job. He adapted to the technique of making posed photographs looking candid, as well as creatively emphasizing a point. On his first major assignment, to photograph part of the state of Louisiana in the summer of 1937, he found himself in New Iberia, the location where Cecil B. DeMille's 1938 movie "The Buccaneer", about Jean LaFitte was being filmed. Here he met his future first wife, a former Miss Ark-La-Tex, now actress/model/body double, Vanda Marteal Oglesby, who stood-in for lead actress Franciska Gaal. They 'took a shine' to one another and later that year she posed for some of his photographs in the French Quarter of New Orleans. They eventually married in 1942, but later divorced. Some of Link's photographs from this time included an image of a man aiming a gun at a pig wearing a bulletproof vest, and one eventually known as What Is This Girl Selling? or Girl on Ice, which was widely published in the United States and later featured in Life as a "classic publicity picture. According to Thomas Garver, a later assistant to Link, during his employment at Byoir's firm, Link "clearly defined a point of view and developed working methods that were to shape his entire career." While in Staunton, Virginia, for an industrial photography job in 1955, O. Winston Link's longstanding love of railroads became focused on the nearby Norfolk and Western Railway line. N&W was the last major (Class I) railroad to make the transition from steam to diesel motive power and had refined its use of steam locomotives, earning a reputation for "precision transportation." Link took his first night photograph of the road on January 21, 1955, in Waynesboro, Virginia. On May 29, 1955 the N&W announced its first conversion to diesel and Link's work became a documentation of the end of the steam era. He returned to Virginia for about twenty visits to continue photographing the N&W. His last night shot was taken in 1959 and the last of all in 1960, the year the road completed the transition to diesel, by which time he had accumulated 2400 negatives on the project. Although it was entirely self-financed, Link's work was encouraged and facilitated by N&W officials, from President Robert Hall Smith downwards. Besides the locomotives, he captured the people of the N&W performing their jobs on the railroad and in the trackside communities. Some of his images were of the massive Roanoke Shops, where the company had long built and maintained its own locomotives. O. Winston Link's images were always meticulously set up and posed, and he chose to take most of his railroad photographs at night. He said "I can't move the sun — and it's always in the wrong place — and I can't even move the tracks, so I had to create my own environment through lighting." Although others, including Philip Hastings and Jim Shaughnessy, had photographed locomotives at night before, Link's vision required him to develop new techniques for flash photography of such large subjects. For instance, the movie theater image Hotshot Eastbound (Iaeger, West Virginia), photographed on August 2, 1956 [negative NW1103], used 42 #2 flashbulbs and one #0 fired simultaneously. Link, with an assistant such as George Thom, had to lug all his equipment into position and wire it up: this was done in series so any failure would prevent a picture being taken at all; and in taking night shots of moving trains the right position for the subject could only be guessed at. Link used a 4 x 5 Graphic View view camera with black and white film, from which he produced silver gelatin prints. From 1960 until he retired in 1983 Link devoted himself to advertising. Among notable pictures taken during this period are those recording construction of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and other views of New York Harbor including the great ocean liners. In retirement, Link moved to South Salem, Westchester County, New York. In 1996, Link's second wife, Conchita, was arrested for (and later convicted of) stealing a collection of Link's photographs and attempting to sell them, claiming that Link had Alzheimer's disease and that she had power of attorney. She served six years in prison. After being released, she again attempted to sell some of Link's works that she had stolen, this time using the Internet auction site eBay. She received a three-year sentence. Conchita was also accused of imprisoning her husband. However, this allegation is disputed by some, and it never led to any criminal charges against Conchita. The story of Winston and Conchita became the subject of the documentary "The Photographer, His Wife, Her Lover" (2005) made by Paul Yule. Link made a cameo appearance as a steam locomotive engineer in the 1999 film October Sky. He was actively involved with the planning of a museum of his work when he suffered a heart attack near his home in South Salem. He was transported to Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, Westchester County, NY where he died on January 30, 2001. Mr. Link was interred adjacent to his parents in Elmwood Cemetery, Shepherdstown, Jefferson County, West Virginia.Source: Wikipedia Link's reasons for shooting at night were simple. For one, it was more romantic and dramatic. For Link the trains were comparable to Garbo and Dietrich at their most glamorous. Secondly, steam from the trains against a night sky photographed white. Against a day sky it came out a dirty grey. Whatever the circumstances, Link's pictures were an intense labor of love. Indeed, he discovered, shortly after starting the Norfolk and Western project, that no one was much interested in photographs of a fast disappearing mode of transport. This was, after all, the beginning of the era of the great American car. At first Link's photographs were appreciated for their combination of nostalgia, technical virtuosity, and – partly due to Link's famously cranky character and disposition - almost outsider artist's vision. But as photography has moved on, Link's work is increasingly seen and appreciated for the degree to which he controlled, planned, and constructed each image, prefiguring such well known contemporary artists as Gregory Crewdson and Jeff Wall, both of whom willingly acknowledge their interest in and appreciation of Link's work. His work has been exhibited throughout the U.S., Europe and in Japan and is present in numerous major museum collections around the world. His rail photography is exhibited at the O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke, Virginia, refurbished by the famous industrial designer, Raymond Loewy, which opened in 2004.Source: Danziger Gallery
Deborah Bay
United States
Deborah Bay is a Houston artist who specializes in constructed studio photography. She has exhibited most recently at Photo London Digital 2020, Foto Relevance (Houston), Texas Contemporary 2018 and 2019 and Photoville Brooklyn. Her work is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona in Tucson and Dorsky Museum of Art at State University of New York at New Paltz. LensCulture and the Griffin Museum of Photography highlighted images from her Traveling Light series in on-line features earlier this year, and the British Journal of Photography has published her work on its cover. Her work was recognized in the Texas National 2018, and she was a finalist for Artadia Houston 2015. An active member of the Houston arts community, she has served on the board of the Houston Center for Photography and its Advisory Council. She holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from The University of Texas at Austin. Statement: My work explores the beauty of light and color. It builds on a studio practice that has focused for the past 15 years on constructed, macro photography. The images in the work presented here bring together an eclectic set of influences, ranging from geometric constructivism to color field. After collecting an assortment of prisms and lenses, I became interested in capturing how light and color interact with optical materials - seeming to bounce nonchalantly across surfaces, yet strictly bound by the laws of physics. Lenses and prisms were layered and stacked at angles to capture light wrapping around form. Chromatic geometries emerged from the planes and lines of color created using film gels. In my practice the camera often is a tool for highlighting details of physical phenomena that are overlooked or not easily observed. Particularly intriguing is the mystery created by the juxtaposition of scale - making close-up images of small objects and showing them as prints at many times their actual size. The images were produced in-camera and follow in the lineage of experimental studies exploring the most elemental components of photographic processes: light and lenses.
Odette England
Australia
1975
Odette England is an Australia/British artist who uses photography, performance, writing, and the archive to explore relationships between autobiography, gender, place, and vernacular photography. England is currently Visiting Artist-in-Residence at Amherst College in Massachusetts. She is also a resident artist of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program in New York. Her work has shown in more than 90 solo, two-person, and group exhibitions worldwide. Notable venues include the George Eastman Museum, Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, New Mexico Museum of Art, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, RISD Museum, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Photographic Resource Center Boston, MacDonald Stewart Art Center Ontario, Perth Center for Photography in Australia, State Library of South Australia, HOST Gallery London, and the Durham Art Museum & Gallery in England. England has regularly received funding through competitive grants and fellowships. These include the CENTER $5,000 Project Launch Award (2012); two grants - $4,865 and $2,315 - from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2018-2019); the Anonymous Was a Woman $1,500 Grant (2020); Color Lab $2,000 Dean's Council Research Fellowship (2020); and the Center for Fine Art Photography Director's Award (2015), among others. She has received fellowships to attend residencies in Australia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Spain, and the United States including the invitation-only Robert Rauschenberg Foundation residency working with Guggenheim Fellow, Jennifer Garza-Cuen. England's first edited volume Keeper of the Hearth was published by Schilt Publishing in March 2020, with a foreword by Charlotte Cotton. The book is part of England's Winter Garden Photograph project which includes an exhibition at the Houston Center for Photography opening September 2020. England's photographs are held in public collections including the Brooklyn Art Library, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, George Eastman Museum, Hungarian Multicultural Center, Museum of Contemporary Photography, New Mexico Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Robert Rauschenberg Residency, and Texas A&M University. Award-related exhibitions include the 2015 Australian Photobook of the Year; Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Emerging Photographers awards (UK winner, twice); HotShoe Magazine Photofusion Photography Award (1st prize); Director's Choice Award at the Medium Festival of Photography's ‘Size Matters' exhibition (1st prize); Px3 Prix De La Photographie competition (1st prize, People's Choice Award); and the Photo Review Photography Competition. Her work has been published in contemporary art journals, magazines, and newspapers including American Photo, Photograph, The Brooklyn Rail, The Photo Review, Photo District News, Hotshoe International, British Journal of Photography, Australian Art Monthly, Musee, GUP, SPOT, JRNL, The Guardian (United Kingdom) and Der Standaard (Belgium). England has given artist talks and critiques at Harvard University, Princeton University, Stanford University, Brown University, the School of Visual Arts in New York, Amherst College, the Penumbra Foundation, Kenyon College, Syracuse University, Lesley College of Art & Design, University of Melbourne, and the Art Gallery of South Australia, among others. She received a four-year fully-funded Research Training Program Scholarship to complete her PhD at the Australian National University in 2018. She also has an MFA in Photography with Honors from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MA in Communication, Culture and Language from the University of South Australia. England is a permanent US resident and lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island and New York City. Her work is represented in the US (east coast only) by Klompching Gallery.
Flor Garduño
Mexico
1957
Flor Garduño was born in Mexico and studied visual arts at the Academy of San Carlos (UNAM), where she focused on the search for the structural aspects of form and space. She became especially interested in the work of Kati Horna, a Hungarian photographer whose communicative dimension of her photographs had a great impact on the development of Garduño's aesthetic. She gave up her studies to work as a darkroom assistant for Manuel Álvarez Bravo, one of Mexico's most prestigious photographers, with whom she strengthened her photographic skills. Since then, Garduño has received numerable prizes, and her work has been exposed and published around the world. Garduño's photos depict the landscapes of Central and South America -- and the people whose ancestors were indigenous to the region. Her photos depict subjects that could have existed in a time long before the present moment, and through photographing them, brings the Indian land of America to the present moment. She addresses time -- past, present, and future -- simultaneously through her photographs. Through her photos we witness the slow procession from life to death, interrupted by comic accidents, childish play, liturgical ceremonies, and erotic repose. Though many themes traverse Garduño's body of work, all ultimately reach the point of incense where, uncertainly, nature, and art blend so that mankind may have a margin of whimsy, freedom, or significance on the face of the gods.Source: Peter Fetterman Gallery Flor Garduño (Born Mexico City, Mexico, 1957) studied at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Mexico City.  In 1979 she became an assistant to Manuel Alvarez Bravo. Between 1981 and 1982 she traveled with a team of photographers organized by Mariana Yampolsky. The team photographed rural villages throughout Mexico for reading primers published by the Secretariat of Education for Indigenous Communities.  This experience as well as her association with Kati Horn influenced Garduño's photographs, which are usually of country locales and towns depicted in strange and mysterious ways typical of Surrealism in Mexican photography.  Garduño had her first one-person exhibition in 1982 at the Galeria Jose Clemente Orozco in Mexico City.  In 1985, a compendium of six years of her work was published entitled "Magia del Juego Eterno" and in 1987 another book entitled "Bestiarium" was published.  In 1986 she participated in the first photographic exhibition of the Salón de la Plástica Mexicana and in the inauguration of the Kahlo-Coronel Gallery in Mexico City. In 1986 and 1988 she was included in several traveling exhibitions "Reserved for Export" and "Realidades Mágicas" that were seen in the United States and Europe.  1996 Image and Memory, Latin american Photography, 1880-1992  Itinerary: El Museo del Barrio, New York.  Art Gallery of the University of Scranton, PA.  Lowe Art Museum, Florida.  Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico.  Crocker Art Museum, CA.  Meadows Museum, Tx.  Akron Art Museum, OH. Her one-person shows were in Paris in 1986, the Museum Volkenkunde de Rotterdam in 1989, the Field Museum of Chicago in 1990 and Montreal in 1991.  Since 1989 she has dedicated herself to photographing the images that appear in her one-person exhibition and monograph, "Witnesses of Time".  The exhibition started at the Americas Society in 1993 and will be traveling across the country to the Museum of Photographic Arts in California as well as various other venues.  Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; and Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico.Source: Throckmorton Fine Art Galleries in the USA:   Peter Fetterman Gallery   Throckmorton Fine Art   Fahey/Klein Gallery   Holden Luntz Gallery   Etherton Gallery   Andrew Smith Gallery
Keliy Anderson-Staley
United States
1977
Keliy Anderson-Staley was raised off the grid in Maine, studied photography in New York City and currently lives and teaches photography at the University of Houston in Texas. She earned a BA from Hampshire College in Massachusetts and an MFA in photography from Hunter College in New York. Anderson-Staley’s tintype portrait work was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and a Puffin Grant. She participated in the Bronx Museum AIM residency program in 2007, the Light Work residency and fellowship in 2010, and the Bakery Photo Collective in Westbrook Maine in 2012. She received a grant in Summer 2011 to prepare a solo exhibition of her series of tintype portraits [hyphen] Americans at Light Work in Syracuse, NY. Her color series about back-to-the-landers in Maine, Off the Grid, was one of five runners-up for the Aperture Portfolio Prize (2009). Off the Grid received the grand prize at the Joyce Elaine Grant exhibition in Denton, TX in 2009 and the Arthur Griffin Award from the Griffin Museum of Photography in 2010. The project was also a finalist for the Duke Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in 2008. She also recently received funding for her project, Imagined Family Heirlooms via Kickstarter, a crowd-funding website in 2011. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, Akron Art Museum, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art (Maine), and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She was the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, a Puffin Grant, a fellowship from the Howard Foundation and the Carol Crow Fellowship from the Houston Center for Photography. Her work published in a solo issue of Light Work’s Contact Sheet and has been shown at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian, Portland Museum of Art, Akron Art Museum, Bronx Museum of Art, Southeast Museum of Photography and the California Museum of Photography, as well as at a number of galleries around the country. Anderson-Staley has been making wet plate collodion tintypes and ambrotypes for ten years. Her fine art and editorial work has appeared in a number of magazines, including Photo District News, New York Magazine, Art and Auction, Hemispheres Magazine, Camerawork, Contact Sheet, Conde Nast Traveler and Esquire Russia. Online, her work has been featured on Flak Photo, Conscientious, Fraction Magazine, PetaPixel, Ahorn Magazine and Daylight Magazine. Her series of tintype portraits was published in 2014 under the title On A Wet Bough by Waltz Books.Source: Catherine Edelman Gallery
Tina Modotti
Italy / United States
1896 | † 1942
With her camera, Tina Modotti presents a distinctive vision of 1920s Mexico. As a Hollywood actress turned Comintern agent, Modotti used photography as an artistic and political outlet. Born​ in Udine,Italy,​ ​Modotti emigrated to San Fransico at the age of sixteen. She quickly established herself as a successful actress and modeled for notable photographers including Jane Reece and Edward Weston. The latter became her lover and artistic mentor. In 1923, Weston and Modotti set up a successful portrait studio in Mexico City. While there, Modotti moved within avant-garde circles, befriending Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. It was during this period in Mexico that she developed her passion for both photography and politics; this culminated in a solo exhibition at the National Library in 1929 which emphasized the revolutionary quality of her work. A year later Modotti was exiled from Mexico because of anti-communist sentiments and in 1931 she set aside a promising career in photography to devote herself entirely to political activism. She worked as a Comintern agent until her death in 1942. Although her life and photographic style are often linked with Edward Westo​n, her political engagement and the eye for composition she harnessed to express it are her own. Calla Lilies (1925) represents a cool appraisal of natural beauty and shows Modotti’s interest in formalism, something she shared with Weston, as she emphasizes the stark lighting, the near symmetry, and the tactile presence of the flowers. In Workers Parade (1926), however, while Modotti’s skill in formal composition is still evident, as the lighting and angle emphasize the repeated pattern of the hats, this dramatic view of a May Day parade in Mexico City reveals Modotti’s Communist sympathies and her ambition to use photography to promote political change.Source: Hundred Heroines Tina Modotti was an Italian American photographer, model, actor, and revolutionary political activist for the Comintern. She left Italy in 1913 and moved to the USA, where she worked as a model and subsequently as a photographer. In 1922 she moved to Mexico, where she became an active Communist. Modotti was born Assunta Adelaide Luigia Modotti Mondini in Udine, Friuli, Italy. Her mother, Assunta, was a seamstress; her father, Giuseppe, was a mason. In 1913, at the age of 16, she immigrated to the United States to join her father in San Francisco, California. Attracted to the performing arts supported by the Italian émigré community in the San Francisco Bay Area, Modotti experimented with acting. She appeared in several plays, operas, and silent movies in the late 1910s and early 1920s, and also worked as an artist's model. In 1917, she met Roubaix "Robo" de l'Abrie Richey. Originally a farm boy from Oregon named Ruby Ritchie, the artist and poet assumed the more bohemian name Roubaix. In 1918, Modotti began a romantic relationship with him and moved with him to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the motion picture industry. Although the couple cohabited and lived as a "married couple", they were not married. She was listed as a U.S. citizen in the 1920 Los Angeles township census. Often playing the femme fatale, Modotti's movie career culminated in the 1920 film The Tiger's Coat. She had minor parts in two other films. The couple entered into a bohemian circle of friends. One of these fellow bohemians was Ricardo Gómez Robelo. Another was the photographer, Edward Weston. As a young girl in Italy her uncle, Pietro Modotti, maintained a photography studio. Later in the U.S., her father briefly ran a similar studio in San Francisco. While in Los Angeles, she met the photographer Edward Weston and his creative partner Margrethe Mather. It was through her relationship with Weston that Modotti developed as an important fine art photographer and documentarian. By 1921, Modotti was Weston's lover. Ricardo Gómez Robelo became the head of Mexico's Ministry of Education's Fine Arts Department, and persuaded Robo to come to Mexico with a promise of a job and a studio. Robo left for Mexico in December 1921. Perhaps unaware of his affair with Modotti, Robo took with him prints of Weston's, hoping to mount an exhibition of his and Weston's work in Mexico. While she was on her way to be with Robo, Modotti received word of his death from smallpox on February 9, 1922. Devastated, she arrived two days after his death. In March 1922, determined to see Robo's vision realized, she mounted a two-week exhibition of Robo's and Weston's work at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Mexico City. She sustained a second loss with the death of her father, which forced her to return to San Francisco later in March 1922. In 1923, Modotti returned to Mexico City with Weston and his son Chandler, leaving behind Weston's wife Flora and their youngest three children. She agreed to run Weston's studio free of charge in return for his mentoring her in photography. Together they opened a portrait studio in Mexico City. Modotti and Weston quickly gravitated toward the capital's bohemian scene and used their connections to create an expanding portrait business. Together they found a community of cultural and political "avant-gardists", which included Frida Kahlo, Lupe Marín, Diego Rivera, and Jean Charlot. In general, Weston was moved by the landscape and folk art of Mexico to create abstract works, while Modotti was more captivated by the people of Mexico and blended this human interest with a modernist aesthetic. Modotti also became the photographer of choice for the blossoming Mexican mural movement, documenting the works of José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera. Between 1924 and 1928, Modotti took hundreds of photographs of Rivera's murals at the Secretariat of Public Education in Mexico City. Modotti's visual vocabulary matured during this period, such as her formal experiments with architectural interiors, blooming flowers, urban landscapes, and especially in her many beautiful images of peasants and workers during the depression. In 1926, Modotti and Weston were commissioned by Anita Brenner to travel around Mexico and take photographs for what would become her influential book Idols Behind Altars. The relative contributions of Modotti and Weston to the project has been debated. Weston's son Brett, who accompanied the two on the project, indicated that the photographs were taken by Edward Weston. In 1925, Modotti joined International Red Aid, a Communist organization. In November 1926, Weston left Mexico and returned to California. During this time Modotti met several political radicals and Communists, including three Mexican Communist Party leaders who would all eventually become romantically linked with her: Xavier Guerrero, Julio Antonio Mella, and Vittorio Vidali. Starting in 1927, a much more politically active Modotti (she joined the Mexican Communist Party that year) found her focus shifting and more of her work becoming politically motivated. Around that time her photographs began appearing in publications such as Mexican Folkways, Forma, and the more radically motivated El Machete, the German Communist Party's Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung (AIZ), and New Masses. Mexican photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo divided Modotti's career as a photographer into two distinct categories: "Romantic" and "Revolutionary", with the former period including her time spent as Weston's darkroom assistant, office manager and, finally, creative partner. Her later works were the focus of her one-woman retrospective exhibition at the National Library in December 1929, which was advertised as "The First Revolutionary Photographic Exhibition In Mexico". As a result of the anti-communist campaign by the Mexican government, Modotti was exiled from Mexico in 1930. She first spent several months in Berlin, followed by several years in Moscow. Traveling on a restricted visa that mandated her final destination as Italy, Modotti initially stopped in Berlin and from there visited Switzerland. The Italian government made concerted efforts to extradite her as a subversive national, but with the assistance of International Red Aid activists, she evaded detention by the fascist police. She apparently intended to make her way into Italy to join the anti-fascist resistance there. In response to the deteriorating political situation in Germany and her own exhausted resources, however, she followed the advice of Vittorio Vidali and moved to Moscow in 1931. After 1931, Modotti no longer photographed. Reports of later photographs are unsubstantiated. During the next few years she engaged in various missions on behalf of the Workers International Relief organizations as a Comintern agent in Europe. When the Spanish Civil War erupted in 1936, Vidali (then known as "Comandante Carlos") and Modotti (using the pseudonym "Maria") left Moscow for Spain, where they stayed and worked until 1939. She worked with Canadian Dr. Norman Bethune during the disastrous retreat from Málaga in 1937. In 1939, following the collapse of the Republican movement in Spain, Modotti left Spain with Vidali and returned to Mexico under a pseudonym. In 1942, at the age of 45, Modotti died from heart failure while on her way home in a taxi from a dinner at Hannes Meyer's home in Mexico City, under what are viewed by some as suspicious circumstances. After hearing about her death, Diego Rivera suggested that Vidali had orchestrated it. Modotti may have "known too much" about Vidali's activities in Spain, which included a rumoured 400 executions. An autopsy showed that she died of natural causes, namely congestive heart failure. Her grave is located within the vast Panteón de Dolores in Mexico City. Source: Wikipedia
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