A couple of my favorite female photographers are Tina Modotti and Imogen Cunningham. I wanted to showcase some of their photographs here. We often mimic our mentors while we find our own voice. I've become more aware of their influence as I continue to experiment. In my next blog entry, I'll post some of my own black and white work that is most certainly inspired by these talented pioneers.
Lovely Italian, Tina Modotti was an actress before embarking on her photographic career. She was a revolutionary and activist in Mexico (although she lived in San Francisco for many years), rubbing elbows with the likes Diego Rivera and Edward Weston, for whom she was a frequent model. She was very passionate about communism and the people of rural Mexico. Madonna is an avid collector of Modotti's work (who knew!).
Modotti led such an interesting life (I recommend reading her biography, Shadows, Fire, Snow: The Life of Tina Modotti by Patricia Albers) and I'm so enamored of the simplicity and pattern in her work.
Imogen Cunningham also spent many years in San Francisco. She also crossed paths with Edward Weston (not in the passionate way Tina did!) and other greats like Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, and Dorothea Lange. Her botanical work is just stunning. She produced formidable work in portraiture (including her work for Vanity Fair), documentary street photography and industrial landscapes as well. Cunningham had a true understanding of photographic chemistry - her technical prowess is so inspiring in this age of point-and-click.
Images 2-4: Tina Modotti; Images 5-7: Imogen Cunningham