Tina Modotti

"And speaking of my 'personal self': I cannot - as you once proposed to me 'solve the problem of life by losing myself in the problem of art' - Not only I cannot do that but I even feel that the problem of life hinders my problem of art.

Now what is this 'my problem of life'? It is chiefly: an effort to detach myself from life so as to be able to devote myself completely to art -

And here I know exactly that you will answer: 'Art cannot exist without life' - Yes - I admit but there should be an even balance of both elements while in my case life is always struggling to predominate and art naturally suffers -

By art I mean the creation of any sort - You might say to me that since the element of life is stronger in me than the element of art I should just resign to it and make the best of it - But I cannot accept life as it is - it is too chaotic - too unconscious - therefore my resistance to it - my combat with it. I am forever struggling to mould life according to my temperament and needs - in other words I put too much art in my life - too much energy - and consequently I have not much left to give to art - "

Tina Modotti, July 1925

(From The Archive, Research Series, of the Center for Creative Photography, "The Letters from Tina Modotti to Edward Weston." Tucson: University of Arizona Press, Number 22, January 1986. 39-40.)

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