This is a record amount for the works of Latin American artists.
The self-portrait of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) “Diego and I” was sold at auction at Sotheby’s auction house in New York for $34.8 million, a record amount for works by Latin American artists.
The work, created by her in June 1949, depicts the artist with her husband and colleague Diego Rivera (1886-1957) painted on her forehead, while the latter has a third eye on his forehead. In the upper right corner of the portrait, the size of which is 30 by 22.4 cm, the year of creation and the name of the painting are written.
According to the auction house, self-portraits occupied a significant part of her work – a third of all her known canvases. This could have been influenced by Kahlo’s father, who was a recognized photographer, often arranged photo shoots for her and taught her to pose for the camera. The painting “Diego and I” refers to the late period of Kahlo’s work, and reflects the unconditional love for the man who has been in her life for two decades.
The work was originally purchased by friends of the artist – an American photographer with Russian roots Florence Arkin and her husband Sam Williams, on the back of the painting there is a signature “For Florence and Sam from Frida with love.” Before the auction, the canvas was in a private collection, in different years the work traveled to exhibitions of Kahlo’s works in Madrid, Frankfurt, Dallas, and Mexico City.