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New York auction breaks record for Frida Kahlo work

A rare painting by Frida Kahlo (BBC)

NEW YORK: A rare painting by Frida Kahlo has been sold in a New York auction house for almost $35 million,

A record price for a work by the iconic Mexican artist stated that at the same sale, a painting by French artist Pierre Soulages also broke a record for his work by reaching $20.2 million dollars. As expected, the self-portrait of Kahlo entitled ‘Diego y yo’ (1949), where the face of the painter´s husband Diego Rivera appears on her forehead, smashed the former record of $8 million set by a Kahlo in 2016.

That made it the most expensive Latin American work of art in history sold at auction, the previous record having gone to a painting by Diego Rivera himself, whose work ‘Los Rivales’ (1931) sold for $9.76 million in 2018.

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‘Diego y yo’ is emblematic of Kahlo´s self-portraits, known for their intense and enigmatic gaze that made the Mexican painter, a feminist icon, famous around the world. In the painting, Rivera´s face appears on Frida´s forehead, above her distinctive eyebrows and dark eyes from which a few teardrops fall.

The depiction of Rivera, who at the time was close to Mexican actress Maria Felix, as a third eye symbolizes the extent to which he tormented her thoughts, art experts say. Kahlo and Rivera married each other twice. She died aged just 47 in 1954. ‘Diego y yo’ last sold at Sotheby´s for $1.4 million in 1990.


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