Frida Kahlo Self-Portrait Achieves Record For Latin American Art at $34.9 Million, Far Exceeding Benchmark Set By Diego Rivera

  • November 17, 2021 10:16

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Frida Kahlo’s 1949 self-portrait "Diego y yo" sold for $34.9 million at Sotheby’s, setting a record for Latin American art.
Sotheby's

The tearful self-portrait that Frida Kahlo painted later in her life sold for $34.9 million at Sotheby’s on Tuesday night, setting a record for Latin American art at auction.

Diego y yo (“Diego and I”) is one of Kahlo’s final self-portraits before her death in 1954, and is a prime example of the emotional pull her work often exhibits and the challenges she faced as captured in her anguished expression, more-rumpled-than-usual appearance, and a portrait of her husband, Diego Rivera, superimposed on her forehead.

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Kahlo painted this powerful work in 1949, coinciding with Rivera's affair with her friend, María Félix, according to Sotheby's. 

“I adore Frida," Rivera was quoted as saying, "but I think my presence is very bad for her health.”

Kahlo's Diego y yo has now far exceeded the auction record for a work by a Latin American artist, set by Rivera in 2019, at $9.76 million. 

A Sotheby's spokesperson said the buyer was Eduardo F. Costantini, the founder of a museum in Buenos Aires, who purchased the work for his private collection. The consignor's identity was not disclosed.

Frida Kahlo’s 1949 self-portrait Diego y yo.
Sotheby's

The auction price record for a female artist is $44.4 million set by Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jimson Weed/White Flower No.1 (1932) in 2014.


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