Argentine businessman and art collector Eduardo Constantini paid 35 million dollars for an iconic painting of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo at Sotheby's in United States. The record-breaking sum for a Kahlo masterpiece is a self-portrait, “Diego and me”, was painted in 1949 and was dedicated “to Florence and Sam with love from Frida”.
Constantini is the founder of the Latin-American Art Museum in Buenos Aires, MALBA, but the Kahlo masterpiece will be part of his private collection. Ana de Stasi, head of Sotheby's for Latin America did the auction bidding for the Argentine businessman by phone.
However the overall sum of US$ 35 million, including Sotheby's commission, was short from the expected price anticipated by experts, some 30 to 50 million dollars.
In 1995, Constantini paid US$ 3,5 million for Kahlo's 1942, Self portrait with monkey and parrot. And in 2016 he purchased Diego Rivera's Dance in Tehuantepec for US$ 16 million. The previous record for a Rivera painting was US$ 3 million in 1995, and the auction record for a Kahlo master piece was 8 million dollars back in 2016.
However the Diego and me broke the record for Latin American art, and is one of her most emblematic paintings and a feminist icon. In effect in the portrait the face of Rivera appears in her forehead, above her dark brows and eyes, with a few tears...
Frida had a tumultuous lover's relation with Diego Rivera, but at the time he was going around with Mexican cinema artist Maria Felix, and his face in the third eye symbolizes how tormented the painter felt, according to art analysts.
Kahlo and Rivera married twice, and she died in 1954 at 47. Diego and me was previously sold at Sotheby's in 1990 for 1,4 million dollars.