Tristan Hoare is delighted to present Maryam Eisler’s second solo exhibition, Imagining Tina: A Dialogue With Edward Weston.
For this series, Maryam reimagines the passionate love affair between the great American photographer Edward Weston and fellow photographer, muse, lover, and activist Tina Modotti. Eisler attempts to relive Edward and Tina’s revolutionary and bohemian “Mexico“ years, all the while imagining Tina through Edward’s intimate gaze. Eisler’s camera seeks the sensuous whilst painting contours with shadow and light.
The series was shot on Wildcat Hill in Carmel, California, where Edward Weston lived from 1938 until his death in 1959. The “Little Grey Home in the West” is now home to Edward’s grandson, fine art photographer, Kim Weston and his wife, Gina.
The exhibition consists of 19 sensual monochrome Platinum prints. Each one produced by the master Platinum printer, Martin Axon, whose craft has been used by many of the big names in the industry, among them Robert Maplethorpe, Host P. Horst, Annie Leibowitz and Patrick Demarchelier. The process involves printing on natural deckled edge Arches Platine paper, especially commissioned by Martin at the Arches paper mill in France.
“Whilst visiting the home of Edward Weston near Carmel in California, I stood in Edward’s original dark room, surrounded by his objects, all maintained as he had left them. These objects found in their original soulful setting triggered my own journey of creative fantasy. And, so I began to re-imagine Edward and Tina’s tumultuous affair, transported by time, space and place. It is the passion in their relationship and the role of Tina as muse, but also as a temptress, a collaborator and an instigator which has intrigued me for years.
Photographing at Weston’s home, I realised without conscious intent that I was, for the first time, honing in on the body, with an emphasis on purity of form, whilst attempting to extract an essence of the Sublime Feminine through shadow and light, the recurrent theme in my oeuvre. I was intent to present a closer and more intimate view of Woman; to give a visual interpretation of how I imagined Edward looking at Tina, at the height of their passion, all the while travelling a fine line between lust and trust, between the untouchable and the intimate.”