Culture

Frida Kahlo’s Painting ‘Lady In White’ Just Sold For $5.8 Million And The Mystery Of The Woman Lives On

Ponder this for a second: If money was not a factor (yes, if you were filthy rich), how much would you pay for a work of art? Hundreds of thousands, millions?! Whoever your favorite artist is (mine is clearly Frida Kahlo), it probably wouldn’t matter, right? I’ve been to enough Kahlo exhibits around the world, and I always ask myself two questions: 1. Who are the lucky people in the world that can say they are owners of an original piece of art by Kahlo? 2. Could I ever own a real Kahlo piece of my own? Those questions are, at times, depressing because the answer is always a “who knows” and “probably not.” However, it is still fascinating to hear Kahlo’s real work — not the replicas or random merchandise — continues to be of real value. 

At a recent auction in New York, a painting by Frida Kahlo titled “Lady in White” sold for $5.8 million.

Credit: christiesinc / Instagram

The painting that dates back to 1929 or 1930 is very different from her most famously known pieces. Some art experts suggest that one of the reasons why this painting appears to be different from her surrealist and vibrant techniques is because Kahlo perhaps never finished the artwork. And, you can tell because the banner on top was left empty. 

It is said that Khalo painted this piece when she and her husband Diego Rivera were living in San Francisco. He was there of course because he was commissioned to do several murals. However, it is Kahlo who is still remembered by the San Francisco community — they did, after all, rename a street in her honor. 

The buyer of the piece is unfortunately unknown, but we do know somethings about the previous owners. 

Credit: fridakahlo / Facebook

According to Artnet, Kahlo first gave the painting to another female Mexican artist. Photographer Lola Álvarez Bravo, “a major figure in the Mexican Renaissance of post-revolution art from the 1930s through the 1950s,” was the first person ever to own this million-dollar piece. It was later in the hands of Stanford University from the collection of Dr. Helga Prignitz-Poda, on loan. The 

Christie’s Latin American art sale sold “Lady in White” on Nov. 22 at their auction, and we are so curious as to who bought it. Art collectors, of course, can be anyone living in the one percent, so we just hope this piece of iconic art is in the right hands. 

There’s always been speculation on who the “Lady in White” is, but I have my doubts. 

Credit: fridakahlo / Facebook

Some Kahlo experts say the “Lady in White” was Kahlo’s first lesbian lover, and the reason the painting isn’t finished is that “their love affair ended abruptly.” Another theory is that the woman was a friend of Kahlo’s and that this woman ended “their friendship finished unexpectedly before she can finish this painting.”

Artnet reports that in 2014, two people said the “Lady in White” was their aunt Dorothy (Brown) Fox. They also report that it could be a “relative or friend of Ralph Stackpole, a sculptor who lived with Kahlo and Rivera in San Francisco.” According to Virgilio Garza, the head of Christie’s Latin American Art department, that he thought the woman in the painting was “Kahlo’s high school classmate Elena Boder.” My theory is it could have been anyone that Kahlo felt was deserving of being memorialized forever. 

This is not Kahlo’s highest-grossing painting that was sold at a Christie’s auction. 

In 2016, Kahlo’s 1939 painting “Dos Desnudos en el Bosque (La Tierra Misma)” sold for $8 million. The highest-grossing Latin artwork ever sold at the auction is one by her husband Diego. 

Credit: fridakahlo / Facebook

The piece, titled “The Rivals,” sold for $9.76 million, which put it on the top of the list. The record was previously held by Kahlo herself.

“It’s undoubtedly one of Rivera’s masterpieces,” Garza told CNN. “The viewer’s gaze recedes in stages, from the men in the foreground, to the brightly dressed women under the hanging papel picado. Rivera’s brilliant composition of intersecting planes creates a cinematic narrative.” 

Sure it’s an incredible work of art, but nothing and no one will ever come close to the genius that is Kahlo.

Credit: fridakahlo / Facebook

Whoever the lucky buyer is, can you please loan it to any museum so we can see it in person too?!

READ: There’s A Frida Kahlo Exhibit That Features Rare Family Photos And It Made Me So Emotional

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Reports Of A New Series Depicting The Life Of Frida Kahlo Has The Internet Asking All Sorts Of Questions

Entertainment

Reports Of A New Series Depicting The Life Of Frida Kahlo Has The Internet Asking All Sorts Of Questions

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There are few people in this world that are as iconic as Frida Kahlo. She’s captured the minds and imaginations of generations of people from all over the world. We’ve seen her story told before, including on the big screen, but fans have long awaited a Netflix rendition of the artists unique story and now it seem like we may finally be getting what so many of us have wanted for so long.

The Frida Kahlo Corporation is developing a TV drama series based on the artist’s storied life.

Acording to a report by Deadline, the Frida Kahlo Corporation is working with a media company and famed Venezuelan composer and singer Carlos Baute to produce a drama series following the life of the iconic artist.

Frida Kahlo has inspired and influenced fans around the world and has had a major impact on the Latinx diaspora, the art world, feminism and culture as a whole. So, it seems that producers are pulling out all the stops to make sure they do right by the artist.

The series is being written by Latino talent, lead by Joel Novoa and Marilú Godinez. Novoa, who has worked on Arrow, Blood and Treasure and the feature film God’s Slave is attached to direct. The partnership will create a slate of content to celebrate the life of Frida Kahlo in different genres.

“The idea is to talk about what the books don’t,” said the writing duo in a joint statement. “The subtext behind each painting, the richness of Mexico’s 20th century and the revolution. Themes that are incredibly relevant at this unprecedented time.”

Carlos Dorado of the Frida Kahlo Corporation added, “Frida Kahlo corporation is always looking for talented people who know how to exalt the life of an icon like Frida Kahlo. In this case the professional team that has been formed is distinguished by its great professionalism, experience and most importantly the sensitivity to be able to approach a project as important and transcendental as Frida Kahlo. This high professional team will always have the support of Frida Kahlo Corporation.”

So when can we expect to see a series about one of the world’s greatest artists and feminist icons?

The team expects to start production of the series during the second half of 2021. A studio has already shown interest and the presentation of the project to the market is expected to occur in February.

“We are currently developing and writing the basis of the series and expect to be ready to present the project in the upcoming weeks,” the team said in a statement.

Also, why has it taken so long?!

Should the series find a studio and distributor, this would be the first drama series focusing on Kahlo in recent history. It’s been almost twenty years since her story was told on the big screen, when Salma Hayek portrayed the icon in the 2002 film Frida. That film went on to earn six Oscar nominations, winning for Best Makeup and Best Original Score. More recently, Kahlo was voiced by Natalia Cordova-Buckley in the Oscar-winning Pixar pic Coco. 

In addition to this, in 2019 it was announced that there would be an animated film about the painter.

But fans of the iconic feminist and artist have long hoped to see a TV series depicting her larger than life personality and role in shaping the world we live in today and it looks like we may finally get what we’ve asked for.

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If You Call Yourself A Frida Kahlo Fan Then You Should Be Following These Five Artists

Culture

If You Call Yourself A Frida Kahlo Fan Then You Should Be Following These Five Artists

Bettman Archives / Getty Images

So many of us have been moved the art of the late Frida Kahlo. Even in death she’s gone on to inspire entire generations with her Surrealist self-portraits, lush depictions of plant and animal life, and magical realist tableaux. Not to mention her incredible life story.

She also inspired future generations of artists, many of whom are alive today creating beautiful works of art. These are just a few of the artists who have similar techniques, subjects, and styles to Frida Kahlo that you’ll definitely love if you’re a fan of Frida Kahlo.

Maria Fragoso – Mexico City

Credit: Teach Me Sweet Things / Theirry Goldberg Gallery

Influenced by the style and narratives of Mexican surrealists and muralists, Maria Fragoso creates work that celebrates her Mexican culture, while also addressing notions of gender expression and queer identity. Her brightly colored canvases offer voyeuristic glimpses into intimate moments, with subjects engaging in acts that seem at once seductive and mischievous—often while gazing directly out at the viewer.

Recently featured in Forbes’s “30 Under 30” in the “Art and Style” category, the 25-year-old artist is quickly rising to prominence. Born and raised in Mexico City, Fragoso moved to Baltimore in 2015 to pursue her BFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art. While in school, Fragoso was the recipient of the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship at the Yale Norfolk School of Art. Since graduating, she has completed residencies at Palazzo Monti and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Nadia Waheed – Austin, Texas

Credit: Message from Janus / Mindy Solomon Gallery

Born in Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents, Austin, Texas–based artist Nadia Waheed explores notions of relocation, displacement, and vulnerability in her work. Her life-size figurative paintings are both allegorical and autobiographical—the female figures represent her own lived experiences, as well as the multifaceted identities of all women.

Rodeo Tapaya – Philippines

Credit: Nowhere Man / A3 Art Agency

Rodel Tapaya paints dreamlike, narrative works based on myths and folklore from his native Philippines. Drawing parallels between age-old fables and current events, Tapaya reimagines mythical tales by incorporating fragments of the present. “In some way, I realize that old stories are not just metaphors. I can find connections with contemporary time,” Tapaya said in a 2017 interview with the National Gallery of Australia. “It’s like the myths are poetic narrations of the present.”

While the content of Tapaya’s work is inspired by Filipino culture, his style and literary-based practice is heavily influenced by Mexican muralists and Surrealist painters such as José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and, of course, Frida Kahlo. Often working at a large scale, Tapaya has been commissioned to create several site-specific murals, including one for Art Fair Philippines in February 2020.

Leonor Fini – Buenos Aires

Credit: Les Aveugles / Weinstein Gallery

Long overlooked in favor of male Surrealists, Leonor Fini, a contemporary of Kahlo, was a pioneering 20th-century force. Known for having lived boldly, Fini is recognized for her unconventional lifestyle, theatrical personality, and avant-garde fashion sense. Born in Buenos Aires in 1907, Fini was raised by her mother in Trieste, Italy. She taught herself to paint and first exhibited her work at the age of 17.

Fini had one of her first solo exhibitions at age 25 with a Parisian gallery directed by Christian Dior. Her work was then included in the groundbreaking exhibition “Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism” at MoMA in 1936, while at the same time she had her first New York exhibition with Julien Levy Gallery. Today, Fini’s work is represented in many major public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Tate Modern in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

Ramon Alejandro – Miami

Credit: Eternal Life / Latino Art Core

José Ramón Díaz Alejandro, better known as Ramon Alejandro, paints idyllic still lifes of tropical fruits set in ethereal landscapes. The surrealistic compositions have a similar spirit to Kahlo’s less iconic but equally masterful still-life works

Coming from a long lineage of artists, Alejandro grew up with the artworks of his great-grandfather, grandfather, and uncle adorning the walls of his childhood home. After growing up in Havana, Alejandro was sent to live in Argentina in 1960 amidst political turmoil in Cuba, and has continued to live in exile since then.

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