Italy 1896 – Mexico City, Mexico 1942
Hands of marionette player, Mexico
1926 gelatin silver photograph gelatin silver photograph
image 23.1 h x 13.7 w cm
Accession No: NGA 87.100
During the Mexican revolutionary movement in the 1920s, Modotti photographed the delicate, sensitive hands of the young puppeteer Lou Bunin pulling the strings of a marionette. An apprentice to the muralist, Diego Rivera, Bunin, like Modotti, was a leftist, and both were aware of the power of theatre puppetry as an effective vehicle for conveying a political and social narrative. The enigmatic nature of the marionette figure allowed Modotti to make political photography at a time when it was dangerous to do so in Mexico.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra