Mexico Says They’ve Found A Recording Of Frida Kahlo’s Voice But I’m Mostly Excited About What She Says About Diego
Frida Kahlo is arguably the most recognizable artist of the 20th Century. The Mexican icon has become such a fixture within cultures across the globe that even your 4-year-old sobrina might know her. After all, Barbies, cosmetics, drinks, T-shirts, even sanitary pads have been made in her likeness. And yet, while we have countless paintings, pictures, and video of the painter who has captivated audiences the world over, her fans have been deprived of her voice.
That is to say, until today.
The National Sound Library of Mexico has found what they say is the first recording ever uncovered of Kahlo’s voice.
The audio clip was discovered on a sound file dating all the way back to 1955. Made by Álvaro Gálvez y Fuentes, the file comes from the pilot of a radio show known as “El Bachiller.” In it, Kahlo describes Diego Rivera for a profile the radio show was doing on her husband.
According to the press release from the National Sound Library of Mexico, the Kahlo file was recorded on open reel tape. The tape was sent to the library back in 2007 along with other files, all of which are part of a Television-Radio collection of audio. They’re on loan to the National Sound Library so they can be converted to digital.
According to Pável Granados, director of the National Sound Library, Kahlo’s voice is the institution’ most requested sound.
In the recording, we hear Kahlo’s melodious voice talking about her husband, Rivera. She’s reading from her essay “Portrait of Diego.” The words were written to accompany the 1949 work of the same name.
Though the radio program was recorded in 1955, the Kahlo file is thought to have been made in 1953 or 1954. In the radio program, it is noted that the voice’s owner was no longer alive. This further supports the claim that the voice belongs to Kahlo.
In light of the amazing discovery, the National Sound Library will work to authenticate the file.
The “El Bachiller” files are made up of 1,300 tapes that are still being catalogued and digitized. In the same way, more audio of the artista may yet to be discovered.
All in all, this is a huge discovery and Twitter was abuzz over the finding.
This Twitter user imagined what a throughly modern Frida would look like. Of course, she’s as stylish as ever.
Some expressed surprise at the sound of the artist’s voice.
Incidentally, we have also imagined what her voice would be like. Her voice is much like Frida was: vibrant, warm, and welcoming.
Some wondered how we can authenticate the voice.
This Twitter user suggested the National Sound Library contact journalist Elena Poniatowska or another person who knew Kahlo. It might be difficult with the passage of time but we imagine Frida’s voice is one you don’t easily forget.
Others were in awe of her loving words for Diego.
Of course, Kahlo and Rivera’s relationship was anything but conventional. Still, her voice holds nothing but love for him.
The total consensus on the Internet seems to be that this is Kahlo’s voice.
We can only hope that additional Kahlo audio is found so we can learn more about the artist in her own words.