Diego Rivera Painting Auctions For $9.76M, Sets New Record for Latin American Art

Artwork by Mexican artist Diego Rivera sold at auction this week in New York City for $9.76 million dollars. This auction deal has now broken a record for highest selling art by a Latin American artist. Can you guess who has this golden spot right before him? Well, here’s an obvious question: who is the most popular Mexican artist of all time? Yes, Frida Kahlo.

Before this week, Frida’s artwork titled “Two Nudes in the Forest,” which sold for $8 million held the top spot. Before Frida, Rufino Tamayo’s “Trovador,” held the spot in 2008.

Diego’s artwork, titled “The Rivals” went to an undisclosed buyer and previously belonged to David Rockefeller and his wife, Peggy.

“It’s undoubtedly one of Rivera’s masterpieces,” Virgilio Garza, Head of Latin American Paintings at Christie’s, said on their website. “Compared with his murals — which are epic in scale and content, with sweeping vistas and narratives that are often ideologically or historically driven — this easel painting is equally monumental in presence, yet devoid of Rivera’s politics. It’s a much more intimate scene focused on regional traditions, and the brushwork is deliberately looser.”

It’s very fascinating to see a Mexican art couple have such a heated rivalry — though completely projected onto them by the art industry and art lovers — so long after their death. We cannot think of another artist couple that has had such success. There should be no contest between the two artist, but it’s almost avoidable considering their connection, his influence on her, and her extreme popularity today.

About this competitive streak between the two artists, Graza says Diego’s score to the top is “a long-time coming,” adding that they are now “neck-in-neck with their auction records.”

Well, at least we still know who is really the best, right? Let us know your thoughts about Frida’s work vs. Diego’s work in the comment section below.

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