Tristan Hoare gallery and Maryam Eisler announce her latest photography project which relives Edward Weston and Tina Modotti’s love affair and revolutionary Mexico years.
For her latest collection of photographs, Eisler has re-imagined the passionate love affair between esteemed American photographer Edward Weston and fellow artist, muse, lover, and activist Tina Modotti. Having become lovers after she posed for him, they first travelled to Mexico in 1923, where they remained for five years.
London-based, Iranian-born Eisler is best known for her dynamic portfolio career in the arts. A photographer, patron, editor and publisher, her many accolades also include membership of the Tate’s International Council, while participating as a co-chair of the Tate’s MENAAC acquisitions committee, the advisory board of Photo London and as a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery, London.
Folkloric locations and compelling spaces driven by spectacular natural light are the driving force behind Eisler’s oeuvre. While shaping her artistic vision and her overall concept of the human figure within the context of nature, her photographic adventures have taken her to an abandoned stone quarry in Provence, Havana, Iceland, Santa Fe and the rugged mountains and rivers of upstate New York. Recent travails capturing the female form in mythic landscapes or places of historic significance have taken her to the big open skies of New Mexico, the mountains of the Catskills (in Upstate New York) and to Georgia O’Keefe’s Ghost Ranch (where the artist lived and worked from the 1940s until her death in 2012). For her latest pilgrimage, Eisler has travelled to one of the spiritual birthplaces of American fine art photography in California.
That spiritual motherland is Edward Weston’s museum-like home on Wildcat Hill in Carmel Highlands. A pioneer who moved photography as a craft from the pictorial to the modernist, Weston lived here off and on from 1938 until his death in 1958. A lifelong Weston enthusiast, Eisler reached out to the estate to request permission to visit. To her delight, Kim Weston, Edward’s grandson – a fine art photographer in his own right – who runs the house with his wife Gina invited her to stay. The cabin has been thoroughly lived in for the last 50 years and yet is very much as Edward left it. Eisler accepted Kim’s gracious invite to California, where she was treated to first-hand stories of Edward Weston and Tina Modotti around a fireplace that has burned logs almost every day for decades. As a child of the Iranian revolution herself, she was entranced by the stories of Edward and Tina’s Mexico years, where their inner circle of friends included Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Residing at Weston’s home, surrounded by his artefacts, objects and original dark room set Eisler off on a creative fantasy.
In the latest exploration of female nudes, Eisler attempts to relive Edward and Tina’s revolutionary “Mexico years”, all the while imagining Tina through Edward’s intimate gaze. Her camera seeks out the sensuous, while painting contours with shadow, capturing each image in natural light.