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The small picture of 30 centimeters high and 22,4 centimeters wide was completed in 1949, a few years before the Mexican painter’s death.
On Tuesday, the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait "Diego and I" was sold at the Sotheby’s auction house in New York for US$34.9 million, which is the highest price reached in an auction for a Latin American artwork.
The small picture of 30 centimeters high and 22,4 centimeters wide was completed in 1949, a few years before the painter’s death, and had been auctioned in 1990 for US$1.4 million.
The work symbolizes the stormy relationship between Kahlo and Diego Rivera, who the artist drew in her forehead with has a third eye to represent his continued presence in her mind.
The buyer was the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires (MALBA) founder Eduardo Cosantiniun, an entrepreneur and collector with a longstanding commitment to supporting Latin American artists.
Close cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico is essential to overcome our shared security challenges. Ahead of today’s High-Level Security Dialogue, I met with Mexican President @lopezobrador_ to discuss progress on these and other regional issues. pic.twitter.com/vvMsbtwjrE
Before the auction, Sotheby’s estimated that the self-portrait would sell for between US$30 million and US$50 million given that works of women artists of the 20th century are being revalued, especially those belonging to Latin American surrealism.
"This self-portrait is one of the most important works of Kahlo that has ever been auctioned," Sotheby’s stated and recalled that the price achieved by "Diego and I" work quadruples the value of a Kalo's painting sold in 2016..
The previous auction record for a Latin American work was reached by Rivera's painting "Los Rivales," which Christie’s auction house sold for US$9.7 million in 2018.