Diego and you by Frida Kahlo takes a classic approach to portraiture, portraying an intensity shrouded in layers of emotion. Completed in 1949, these expressive portraits are a complex blend of contemporary themes of identity and experience, with a sense of self.
The iconic artist’s work is expected to break its current auction record of $ 8 million, reached in 2016. Sotheby’s General Fine Art Sale will take place in London in November, where the work will be on display.
Brooke Lampley, President of Sotheby’s and Global Sales Manager for Global Fine Art, believes this painting by Frida Kahlo will show the way forward in promoting and recognizing underrepresented women artists, and preserving their value in spaces. consumer and commercial art. Lampley says: The Emotionally Naked and Complex Portrayal of Frida Kahlo Diego and you is a defining work by one of the few artists whose influence transcends the world of fine art to pop culture and beyond.¨
The painting reminds Julian Dawes, co-head of Impressionist and Modern Art at Sotheby’s in New York, of the Spanish expression ‘open los ojos‘, which means’ open your eyes’. She says, “A Kahlo painting of this quality and excellence is a rarity at auction.”
Last sold at Sotheby’s in 1990, this work grossed $ 1.4 million, making her the first Latin American artist to win more than $ 1 million at auction, thus marking a turning point in the history of art, a feat she is ready to accomplish once again. Diego and you is now poised to set a new auction record and stand out as the most valuable Latin American work of art sold at auction.
Diego and you can also be seen as a double portrait. Kahlo paints a small image of Rivera in the center of his forehead which bears a third eye to show the extent of his influence on his consciousness. This charged and emotionally charged work alludes to Rivera’s relationship with Mexican diva María Félix, whose sensual portrait he painted, also in 1949. While this relationship has been the subject of many rumors, Kahlo, a good friend of Felix, joking publicly about it, she was also deeply hurt.
Of the two paintings in which she explores the motif of the double portrait, Diego and you is the most evocative. Her hair here is loose as opposed to her usual tight braids, and her locks seem to be strangling her. Her eyes are watery and intense, and her cheeks are red.
Her work is synonymous with such moving emotional rawness, and this painting poignantly captures an inner restlessness and distress reflected in the three tears that flow from her eyes, reminding us of Our Lady of Sorrows, an iconic image of the western art history. Revealing much more than his personal story and engaging in existential questions around life, love and death, Diego and you testifies to the universal appeal of his work as one of the greatest of 20th century art.