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An Argentine bought a work by Frida Kahlo for almost 35 million dollars and set a record in Latin America

Self-portrait Diego and I, by Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), sold this Tuesday for $ 34.9 million at an auction organized by Sotheby’s auction house in New York, United States, and established a record for the Mexican painter and even for all of Latin America.

As confirmed to the New York Times by a Sotheby’s spokesperson, the buyer of the painting is the Argentine Eduardo Francisco Costantini, founder and president of Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires.

As reported by the American newspaper, Costantini bought the work for his private collection. The auction house spokesman declined to reveal the identity of the seller.

Until then, the auction record for a work by the Mexican artist was 8 million dollars, for a work sold in 2016.

The Rivals, a 1932 work by Mexican muralist Rivera, with whom Kahlo had a passionate and tumultuous love story (they were married twice), was so far the most valuable in Latin America. Christie’s house sold it for $ 9.8 million in May 2018. However, now the record belongs to the painting that Khalo painted in 1949.

The self-portrait “Diego y yo”, by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, was auctioned for $ 34.9 million. Photo EFE

Diego and I is one of the most emblematic self-portraits of the Mexican painter, who has become a feminist icon.

In the painting, Rivera’s face appears on Frida’s forehead, above her characteristic eyebrows and her dark eyes, which shed a few tears.

The representation of Rivera – at that time close to the Mexican actress María Félix – as a third eye symbolizes the extent to which it tormented his thoughts, according to art experts.

The founder and honorary president of the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires, Eduardo Costantin.  Photo Xinhua

The founder and honorary president of the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires, Eduardo Costantin. Photo Xinhua

“This is an important late work from a period in which his physical suffering had intensified and his painting became erratic, “said the art curator Adriana zavala, which hosted a 2015 Khalo exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden.

For his part, Gregorio Luke, former director of the Museum of Latin American Art in California, explained the reason for the high value of the painting: “The price is the result of a great repressed interest in the artist and very little inventory. There is probably less than 20 to 30 of his paintings in the market”.

Diego and I last sold in 1990, also at Sotheby’s, for 1.4 million dollars, which represented the first work by a Latin American artist to exceed one million dollars.

Kahlo and Rivera were married twice. She died at the age of 47 in 1954 and her work and her universe are constantly being updated. Without going any further, at the end of last September it was published a book that brings together the complete work for the first time, a total of 152 paintings that include paintings that belong to private collections that are difficult to access and invites a critical reflection on the production of one of the most important artists of the 21st century.

In March, on the other hand, it had been released Frida. Live life, A production of National Geographic that reviews his personal letters and writings.

Kahlo is, in turn, the second most searched artist in Google globally, only surpassed by Leonardo Da Vinci in the first position, according to data from the English website www.artsupplies.co.uk.

With information from AFP.

DB

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