Auction of the Macklowe Collection at Sotheby's

Painting by Frida Kahlo achieves record price

Among the many records set at this auction, the most sensational was the sale of a Kahlo painting: Diego y yo sold for $34.9 million with buyer's premium. In all, nearly 40 works changed hands for tens of millions.

November 18, 2021

Highest auction result of

Frida Kahlo

Diego y yo

Found at Sothebys, New York
Modern Evening Auction, Lot 12
29. Oct - 17. Nov 2021
Estimate: 30.000.000 - 50.000.000 USD
Price realised: 34.883.000 USD

The small oil painting Diego y yo from 1949 belongs to the late work of Frida Kahlo, who at that time was already married for the second time to Diego Rivera. Numerous affairs by both spouses put a strain on the relationship, which Kahlo in particular dealt with in her famous self-portraits. Kahlo's works have achieved ever higher sales figures in recent years, and a new record has now been set for a portrait by the Mexican painter at $34.9 million. The new owner is Eduardo Francisco Constantini. Diego y yo is also the most expensive work of art from Latin America. In 1990, this was already the case once − the sales value at that time was 1.4 million dollars. The previous highest value for a work of Kahlo was 8 million dollars and was achieved in 2016 at an auction of Christie's.

Former highest auction result of

Frida Kahlo

Dos desnudos en el bosque (La tierra misma)

Found at Christies, New York
Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, Lot 21 C
12. May - 12. May 2016
Estimate: 8.000.000 - 12.000.000 USD
Price realised: 8.005.000 USD

The auctioned collection happens in connection with the divorce of Linda and Harry Macklowe. To determine the value of the collection, which also includes works by Mark Rothko, Alberto Giacometti, Enrico Donati, Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso, would have to be sold. The second part is to go under the hammer next year.

Criticism of Kahlo

Parallel to Kahlo's rise in value, criticism of the painter, who died in 1954, is also increasing. She had already been known during her lifetime for wearing robes of the Tehuana women, without ever having had any contact with the indigenous population. What is called for is a critical examination of the treatment of indigenous cultures, which in Kahlo's case, among others, were inappropriately mythologized for a Western elite. The author Joanna García Cherán from the Perépecha people, for example, advocates a reflective reappraisal of the suppression of indigenous cultures.Art.Salon

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