Frida's 'Diego and I' sells for $34.9 million and breaks Latin American record
Frida Kahlo is in the news after her self-portrait sold for $34.9 million, breaking the record for the sale of a piece by a Latin American artist.
Frida Kahlo outdid herself on Tuesday, Nov. 16, when her self-portrait Diego and I was auctioned in New York for $34.9 millon, setting a new record price for a work by a Latin American artist. The iconic Mexican artist has quadrupled the previous all-time high price of $8 million, also achieved by herself in 2016.
The work in question last sold for $1.4 million three decades ago, and is a self-portrait symbolizing her relationship with her partner, artist Diego Rivera.
"The price achieved tonight places Frida Kahlo center stage alongside the great titans of art history, and as one of the most coveted artists on the market today," Sotheby's confirmed in a press release it issued at the conclusion of the bidding.
#AuctionUpdate: Frida Kahlo’s 1949 self-portrait ‘Diego y yo (Diego and I)’ soars to $34.9M, smashing the artist’s previous $8 million public auction record. This enigmatic work is Kahlo’s final ‘bust’ self-portrait completed before her death in 1954. pic.twitter.com/NVJZ3c8FOV
— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) November 17, 2021
A few years before Frida's death, her close-up self-portrait, completed in 1949, broke the record at the first bidding at Sotheby’s New York headquarters, being auctioned for $26 million.
In addition, the painting has positioned itself a great distance ahead of the previous all-time high at auction for a Latin American artist, Los Rivales, by Diego Rivera himself sold by Christie's in 2018.
From Sotheby's experience, it was estimated that the piece would sell for between $30 and $50 million, on the one hand because of the artistic level of the painting, and on the other, because it is a historical moment in which the works of women artists of the 20th century are being revalued.