19 | JUL | 2019
Recording of Frida Kahlo’s voice possibly found in Mexico
Pável Ganados, director of the Fonoteca Nacional, explained that the audio had been found in the Álvaro Gálvez y Fuentes archive from the “El Bachiller” radio show - Photo: Antonio Rodríguez/EL UNIVERSAL

Recording of Frida Kahlo’s voice possibly found in Mexico

13/06/2019
19:24
Antonio Díaz
Mexico City
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What seems to be the voice of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo will now be available for everyone to hear

What seems to be the voice of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) will now be available for everyone to hear. A group of investigators from the Mexican audio archives (Fonoteca Nacional) have recovered a unique audio file in which the author of "The Broken Spine" talks about Diego Rivera.

Pável Granados, director of the Fonoteca Nacional, explained that the audio had been found in the Álvaro Gálvez y Fuentes archive from the “El Bachiller” radio show and could date back to 1953 or 1954.

Frida Kahlo’s voice is one of the most common searches at the audio archives library. “Frida’s voice has been quite an enigma and we’ve looked for it constantly ever since this institution was created,” Granados stated.

Granados spoke with the anchorperson Manuel de la Vega, who informed that he was in possession of a copy of Diego Rivera singing, along with an interview with Lupe Marín “and even a recording of Frida Kahlo,” he claimed.

“Unlike what people may think, what is believed to be Frida Kahlo’s voice is actually quite feminine,” Granados told in an interview.

Until now, the only known description of Frida Kahlo’s voice had been that of French photographer Gisèle Freund, who wrote: “Frida smokes, laughs, and speaks with a melodious and warm voice.”

In the audio file, the painter can be heard reading a text that says: “With his head, on which a dark hair is born, so thin that it seems to float in midair. He is a big, immense child with a kind face and a sad gaze…,” a description Kahlo wrote in 1949 to celebrate Diego Rivera’s 50th anniversary as painter.

Pável Granados claimed that he had put the recording to the test in order to assert its authenticity. Guadalupe Rivera, who knew Kahlo personally, said that it was indeed her voice; however, painter Arturo Estrada Hernández said that the voice was “way too mellow for Frida.” Esteban Volkow, the grandson of Leon Trotsky, doubted the authenticity of the recording, but argued that it was probably due to the intonation: “I personally never heard Frida speak like that, but she was reading a text, so you could say she was not exactly herself at the time.”

Granados stated that the institution would continue to investigate in order to determine the authenticity of the recording.

The archive of the radio show “El Bachiller” includes interviews with other Mexican celebrities such as José Revueltas, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Julián Carrillo, María Conesa, Salvador Novo, and Consuelo Velázquez, to name a few.
 

Artículo

Frida Kahlo: A female icon of Mexican art

Mexican painter Frida Kahlo's work is, in her own words, the most honest expression of her own self
Frida Kahlo: A female icon of Mexican artFrida Kahlo: A female icon of Mexican art

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