If Frida Kahlo’s artwork does anything, even to those who know nothing about art, it evokes emotion and breaks record auction bids. The modern artist employed surrealist and magical realism tendencies, making the eyesores of the personal, visually intriguing and beautiful, and people have for a long time been willing to pay the piper for her magic touch.
Her work has auctioned in the skyrocketing millions. Back in 2016, her Two Nudes in the Forest set what was dubbed an “auction milestone”, whereby it sold at Christie’s for $6 million US dollars, as HypeArt reminds us.
Now, another Kahlo masterpiece is set to shake auction rates.
A sorrowful self-portrait with a tango of a tale considering her husband who cheated on her is projected to sell for more than $30 million or R442 million at a Sotheby’s auction in New York City.
Why this is so incredible has to do with a three-fold progression.
1. If the work, entitled Diego y yo (Diego and I) does sell for the estimated price, it will break Kahlo’s own personal record,
2. Shatter that of any Latin American artist.
3. Be crowned one of the most expensive works by a female artist to have sold at an auction.
About the work
As art correspondent Mark Brown writes, “aside from the eye-spinning price and the talk of records, the painting itself is a fascinating one, shining light on the Mexican artist and her tumultuous relationship with Rivera.”
Diego y yo encompasses a double portrait. In the background we see the artist herself juxtaposed to her husband Diego, masking the foreground. In the sublime fashion, Diego is placed where Kahlo’s third eye might have sat, but instead, it is Diego’s portrait encrypted with his own third eye that is visualised – indicating that Kahlo’s almost sixth sense sets her turbulent relationship with the artist there. Kahlo’s face also has three tears, and this constant repetition of threes implies the three-party relationship, as Diego was rumoured to have an affair with the artist’s good friend and actress, Maria Felix.
Kahlo and Rivera married each other twice. The artist died in 1954, at 47 years old.
The art will go on a world tour starting in Hong Kong on October 7, then will hit London before landing at auction in New York this November. “Diego y yo” last sold at Sotheby’s for $1.4 million (R20.5 million) in 1990.
Picture: Southby’s/ Frida Kahlo, Diego y yo, (1949)