Mexico unearths the only known recording of artist Frida Kahlo after 64 years. The recording exists in the pilot of a 1955 radio show, “El Bachiller.”
The National Sound Library of Mexico says it could be the first known voice recording of the artist, Frida Kahlo.
Frida Kahlo is an iconic 20th-century artist. She has one of the best-known faces on the planet. However, the world has never heard the Mexican painter’s voice.
Kahlo had a convention-defying uni-brow. She spent her life as a painter in the intimidating shadow of her husband, the muralist Diego Rivera. She died in 1954.
Mexico’s Department of Culture said in a press release that the recording existed in the pilot of a 1955 radio show, “El Bachiller.” The show featured a profile of Diego Rivera.
The sound library asked in a Tweet.”Have you ever imagined how the voice of #FridaKahlo could have sounded?”
Fonoteca Nacional Director said, Kahlo’s voice is one of the “most requested and sought after” from the library.
Department of Culture tweeted, “This could be the voice of #FridaKahlo.”
According to the release, the voice thought to be the painter’s can be heard reading a text titled “Portrait of Diego.”
The department confirms that authorities will continue to investigate to make sure it is Kahlo’s voice. There are many silent films of her, however, no audios.
Pavel Granados spoke at a press conference at which the ministry unveiled the newly discovered recording. The head of the national audio archives said, “Frida’s voice has always been a great enigma, a never-ending search. Until now, there had never been a recording of Frida Kahlo.”
The content of the audio
In the audio, a woman with a soft, melodious voice reads a text. Kahlo wrote that text about Rivera in 1949. The text celebrated the 50th anniversary of his artistic career.
There is an introductory trickle of a guitar. After that, she says, “He is a gigantic, immense child, with a friendly face and a sad gaze. His high, dark, extremely intelligent and big eyes rarely hold still. They almost come out of their sockets because of their swollen and protuberant eyelids. [Almost] like a toad’s. They allow his gaze to take in a much wider visual field. [As] if they were built especially for a painter of large spaces and crowds.”
The culture ministry said that Galvez y Fuentes acquired the recording for a radio program. He hosted it in 1956 on Rivera.
Experts are analyzing it in hopes of confirming whether it is Kahlo. They have discovered that the audio was made with external recording equipment. The voice seems to match French photographer Gisele Freund’s description of Kahlo’s, “Frida smokes, laughs, speaks with a warm and melodious voice.”
Culture Minister Alejandra Frausto said specialists continue analyzing Galvez y Fuentes’s collection. They are consulting other sources that could confirm if the voice in the recording belongs to Frida.
Furthermore, “El Bachiller” collection contains 1,300 non-digitized and uncatalogued tapes. Therefore, it is a possibility that another recording of Kahlo’s voice exists.