Men Reading El Machete, Tina Modotti (1924)

Modotti was born in Italy, migrated to California, worked as a theatre actor, flirted with Hollywood, travelled to Mexico, stayed, joined the Communist party, and shot brilliant, high-art propaganda/documentary images. She learned her powerful, composed style as apprentice to the American Edward Weston, a pioneer of photography as modern art.

Reviews of Shadows, Fire, Snow: The Life of Tina Modotti by Clarkson N. Potter & Tina Modotti: A Life by Pino Cacucci

Tina Modotti (1896-1942), Hilton Kramer wrote in The New York Times, was once known as "Edward Weston's mistress and model during his crucial Mexican period, [who] was also an accomplished, if minor, photographer in her own right." Today, however, she is probably better known than Weston, at least in the universities.