Tolga Akmen/AFP through Getty Photographs
Frida Kahlo’s “Diego y yo,” a portray of herself along with her husband’s picture on her brow, offered for $34.9 million in a Sotheby’s public sale Tuesday night time. The artwork vendor described it as “the final of her nice self-portraits.”
It is essentially the most cash ever paid at public sale for a piece by a Latin American artist. The value can also be greater than triple the very best quantity beforehand paid for a Kahlo work in an public sale.
It is not the primary time “Diego y yo” has made historical past: when the portray offered for $1.4 million in 1990, Kahlo grew to become the primary Latin American artist to surpass the $1 million mark at public sale.
Kahlo created the portray in 1949, 20 years after she first married the painter Diego Rivera. It marked a time when the Mexican artist was on the peak of her skills, and likewise when her well being was declining: Kahlo had quite a few surgical procedures on her backbone in 1949, and she or he started a nine-month hospital keep. When she emerged, she usually relied on a wheelchair.
In “Diego y yo,” Kahlo depicts herself with three tears flowing from her eyes, along with her husband superimposed above her well-known eyebrows.
“She has such a robust gaze. She simply stares at you, and she or he simply cuts by means of,” mentioned Sotheby’s Anna Di Stasi, director of Latin American artwork. “And people three tears rolling down her verify are simply essentially the most highly effective tears I’ve ever seen within the historical past of artwork.”
By 1949, Kahlo and Rivera had reconciled a lot of their variations within the turbulent relationship, throughout which each of the artists engaged in a number of affairs. However the portray is broadly seen as Kahlo’s expression of ache over Rivera’s affair along with her buddy, the actress María Félix — Rivera painted a portrait of a barely clothed Félix in that very same 12 months.
“This fully destroys her,” Di Stasi mentioned of Kahlo’s predicament.
With a remaining sale value approaching $35 million, “Diego y yo” obliterates the earlier public sale document for a Latin American piece of artwork that was set by Rivera’s portray “The Rivals.”
Kahlo’s husband painted “The Rivals” a number of years after they married; it fetched a $9.8 million value at a Christie’s public sale in 2018.
“You might name tonight’s consequence the last word revenge, however actually it’s the final validation of Kahlo’s extraordinary expertise and world enchantment,” Di Stasi mentioned in a information launch in regards to the sale.
The document for the very best value ever paid at public sale for a chunk by a feminine artist is held by Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1,” which offered at Sotheby’s a number of years in the past for greater than $44 million.