Proving that the market for Frida Kahlo art is still booming, "Survivor" her portrait of a pre-Hispanic warrior brought in $1.178 million against a pre-sale estimate of $100,000-150,000 at Christie's Latin American Art auction on Wednesday. The auction brought in a total of $16.8 million which the auction house says was its strongest Latin American sale in two years. The sale set five records total including one for Mexican artist Jose Clemente Orozco whose "The City" sold for $1.1 million.
"Survivor" had disappeared from public view for 72 years before it was put up for sale this year. The small work is oil on metal framed by artist in a handcrafted Oaxacan tin frame.Excitement was high at the sale, the piece drew nearly 50 offers. Kahlo painted the work after a period of turmoil in her life that included discovering her husband Diego Rivera's affair with her sister, her decision to commit suicide, a separation and then a reconciliation with Rivera. She described the painting as representing the survival of Mexico in a shaky world.