Frida Kahlo's Two Nudes sets new artist record

Frida Kahlo's Two Nudes in the Forest (The Land Itself) has set new records for the artist at auction and for a piece of Latin American art.

The work made $8m at Christie's New York on May 12, surpassing the $5.6m paid for Roots (1943) at Sotheby's in 2006.

Frida Kahlo Two
Frida Kahlo is Latin America's most famous artist

Two Nudes last sold for $506,000 in a 1989 auction, resulting in growth of 10.7% per annum over the past 27 years.

It was painted in 1939 and shows two women lying together in a surreal landscape.

Kahlo (1907-1954) gave the canvas as a gift to her friend Dolores del Rio shortly after Kahlo and husband Diego Riviera divorced.

Critics have read the work as a meditation on female sexuality but it also bears comparison with her more famous work, Two Fridas (also painted in 1939).

The latter work is widely read as a reaction to her divorce.

She explained to a friend: "The fact that I painted myself twice, I think, is nothing but the representation of my loneliness.

"What I mean to say is, I resorted to myself; I sought my own help. This is the reason why the two figures are holding hands."

Kahlo's price point remains low, despite her status as one of the world's most famous female artists.

This is mainly because her best known pieces are already in long term collections and only lesser examples remain on the market.

Even these circulate rarely.

This is the first significant Kahlo painting to come to auction since the sale of Roots 10 years ago.  

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