Entertainment Arts Frida Kahlo self-portrait set to break auction records
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Frida Kahlo self-portrait set to break auction records

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A self-portrait by famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is expected to smash records with an eye-watering purchase price this year.

The painting, titled Diego y yo (Diego and I), is set to fetch more than $US30 million ($41 million) when it goes under the gavel in November.

It would be the most ever paid for a work of art by a Latin American artist.

And more than three times the price of Kahlo’s most expensive painting, with Dos desnudos en el bosque (La tierra misma) selling for $US8 million in 2016, according to Forbes.

The painting Diego y yo by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Photo: Sotheby’s

Created in 1949 – five years before she died – this was the last of Kahlo’s bust-length self-portraits and is a deeply emotional piece.

Chairman of Sotheby’s auction house and head of sales for global fine art Brooke Lampley said the self-portrait is one of the defining paintings of her career.

“Frida Kahlo’s emotionally bare and complex portrait Diego y yo is a defining work”, Mr Lampley said in a statement.

“To offer this portrait in our Modern Evening Sale in November heralds the recent expansion of the Modern category to include greater representation of underrepresented artists, notably women artists, and rethink how they have historically been valued at auction.”

It may have been inspired by heartbreak due to her husband’s infidelity, as it was created during one of Rivera’s many affairs.

He was romantically involved with Kahlo’s close friend María Félix at the time she painted the portrait, according to Sotheby’s.

The artwork captures an emotional Kahlo. It depicts the artist with tears flowing down her face, her husband Diego Rivera – featuring a third eye – nestled inside her forehead, understood to mean he was on her mind.

Rivera was one of Mexico’s best-known artists, a muralist who was already successful when he married his third wife, Frida, in 1929.

They divorced in 1940, but remarried the following year and remained together until her death in 1954.