An original Frida Kahlo is going up for auction. But, it is expected to go for more than you are likely to have in your couch cushions or online Stash account. The self-portrait is expected to fetch a cool $30 million when it hits the Sotheby’s block.
The work titled, “Diego y yo” (Diego and I) depicts Kahlo with tears on her face. On her forehead, her husband is painted with a third eye on his forehead. It is said to reflect a troubled time for the married couple who first met in 1922. The two married in 1928 despite a 20-year age difference. The couple divorced in 1940 and then remarried later that same year. During their second marriage, it was reported that Diego was having an affair with film star María Felix, a friend of Kahlo’s. The self-portrait, which is up for sale, was painted in 1949. Incidentally, a biopic about María Felix is in production now with Eiza González starring as Felix.
The work is expected to set a record for the Mexican artist when it’s sold later this year. The most a Kahlo piece has commanded was $8 million. That was in 2016, and well, you know, inflation and all.
Ironically, the record for the highest-priced piece of Latin American art belongs to Frida’s husband, Diego Rivera. In 2019, one of his pieces sold for $9.8-million.
Big wigs Brooke Lampley, worldwide head of sales for global fine art at Sotheby’s, had this to say about the important piece of art, “Frida Kahlo’s emotionally bare and complex portrait Diego y yo is a defining work. To offer this portrait in our Modern Evening Sale in November heralds the recent expansion of the Modern category to include greater representation of underrepresented artists, notably women artists, and rethink how they have historically been valued at auction.”
“Diego y yo” will be on display in Hong Kong and London before hitting New York. It will remain there on exhibition before its November sale.