Frida Kahlo Art Fetches Record $34.9m At Auction
A painting by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo has broken the record for the highest price paid for a Latin American artwork at auction, selling for a whopping $34.9m (£25m).
The painting sold at the Sotheby’s auction house in New York now holds the title of the highest price paid at auction for a Latin American artwork.
An artwork by Diego Rivera had previously set the record selling for $9.76m in 2018. Both Rivera and Kahlo had shared a decades-long tumultuous relationship.
Kahlo’s painting Diego y Yo was one of her final self-portraits.
The work depicts a tearful Kahlo with her husband Rivera painted above her eyes as a third eye.
Completed in 1949, the painting is Kahlo’s final fully-realised bust self-portrait before the artist died in 1954 at the age of 47.
The Diego y Yo piece alludes to Rivera’s relationship with the Mexican actress Maria Felix, also a close friend of Kahlo’s. At the time, the affair was the subject of numerous rumours and tabloid fodder. Publicly, Kahlo joked about it.
The Sotheby’s at the auction on Tuesday described the Frida Kahlo piece as “one of the most important works by Kahlo ever to come to auction.”
New York Times identified the artwork’s buyer as Eduardo F. Costantini, who founded a museum in Argentina.
Diego y yo was last sold at Sotheby’s in 1990 for $1.4m, when it smashed records and made Frida Kahlo the first Latin American artist to fetch more than $1m at auction.
Widely regarded as one of the 20th Century’s greatest painters, Kahlo was famed for her intimate self-portraits reflecting pain and isolation.
She lived from 1907 to 1954 and proudly promoted indigenous Mexican culture through her art.
Kahlo’s work also chronicled her painful relationship with her body, disabled through childhood polio and severe injuries following a bus accident.