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Kahlo smashes records; elsewhere, a royal gallerist makes millions off NFTs


While we focus on Indian art, we can’t obviously function in a vacuum. It’s a small world and everything is connected, especially on the web. So, let’s train our spotlight across the world map to see what’s going on — from art trends to socio-political issues to everything that affects the great aesthetic global consciousness. Or, let’s just travel the world and have some fun!

Kahlo self-portrait sells for $34.9 million


The most expensive work by a Latin American artist ever sold at auction is now Frida Kahlo’s 1949 self-portrait Diego y yo, or Diego and I. Breaking records, the painting went under the hammer for $34.9 million, against its estimate of $30 to $50 million. Kahlo’s husband, Diego Rivera had a 1931 painting The Rivals sold at Christie’s for $9.8 million in 2018 ($10.7 million today). When she died in 1954 at the age of 47, Kahlo left behind a relatively small body of work. Her oeuvre includes about 200 paintings, drawings and sketches, one-third of which are self-portraits, according to Sotheby’s. The limited supply of Kahlo artworks has led experts to predict that prices for her art will continue to skyrocket. Smithsonian Magazine delves into all the details.


Phillips auctions Francis Bacon’s ‘Pope’ for $33 million


Phillips staged its 20th century and contemporary art auction at its newly opened Park Avenue headquarters in New York this week and the sale brought in a total of $139 million — the highest total for an evening sale in the house’s history. The work that fetched the highest price of the night was a 1958 painting by Francis Bacon of a leering pope flanked by two owls perched on his throne. The painting, which came to the sale with an irrevocable bid, hammered at $33 million, just eking over the $30-million low estimate. Overall, of the 46 lots offered, 43 sold, with the sale achieving a 93-percent sell-through rate. ART News tells you more.


Royal — and worth $300 million in NFTs


A member of the erstwhile Kapurthala Royal Family, Amar Singh opened an eponymous London art gallery in 2016, and spent the early stages dealing and acquiring works by women artists of Abstract Expressionism, giving him a unique niche and strong instincts in identifying untapped markets. The commitment paid off. When Christie’s executives were seeking to capitalize on their $69 million sale of Beeple’s NFT Everydays—The First 5,000 Days, they quickly partnered with Singh to organize the auction house’s second major NFT sale in April, pairing physical works by female Abstract Expressionist painters with custom NFTs by Rewind Collective. Today, the total value of his mammoth NFT deals with several companies is more than $300 million. Artnet News profiles the development.

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