Frida Khalo’s Diego y yo (Diego and I), is set to go to auction at Sotheby’s in New York with an estimated worth of $30m USD.
In 2016, Khalo’s Two Nudes in the Forest (The Land Itself), set an auction milestone when it sold for $8 million USD at Christie’s and now it’s looking like Diego y yo will absolutely blitz past that.
The portrait depicts Khalo’s cheating husband, Diego Rivera, superimposed on her forehead. Well, rumoured to have cheated (but probably did). The couple met in 1922 when Rivera was 36 years old an already a famous artist. Khalo was only 15 at the time. They married in 1929 and divorced ten years later but they remarried again in 1940. By the end of 40’s though, there was a rumour that was going around that Rivera was having an affair with Khalo’s good friend and actress, María Félix. Kahlo described her relationship with Rivera in one of her notebooks, “I suffered two great accidents in my life, one in which a streetcar knocked me down … the other accident is Diego.”
The affair became a huge public scandal with some newspapers claiming that Rivera would divorce Khalo and marry Félix as soon as possible. Khalo joked about the affair and said she didn’t care about it, but that wasn’t true. This painting reveals her true feelings as it’s overflowing with anger and sorrow – her hair is loose and seems to be strangling her, she has flushed cheeks and a tearful gaze.
Anna di Stasi, director of Latin American art, said the work epitomised “the painstakingly detailed rendering, complex iconography, and deeply personal narratives that are hallmarks of her mature painting.”
Now if this painting sells for anything close to $30 million, the sale will break the Latin American artist auction record which is currently held by Khalo’s husband, Diego Rivera, who’s work The Rivals sold for $9.76 million in 2019. Very spicy after death relationship drama.
The sale will mean Diego y yo will be one of the most expensive works by a female to have sold at auction. This also means it will shatter Khalo’s previous record.
The painting will be going on tour before its sale starting in Hong Kong on October 7, then in London between October 22 – 25, until finally appearing at Sotheby’s modern art evening sale in New York in November.
In other art news, a new Van Gogh artwork has been discovered after 130 years.