Posted On 13 Jun 2019
Though the iconic image and the work of the late legendary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo are more popular than ever, the sound and the tone of her voice have remained a mystery for years.
That is, until now — or so Mexican authorities believe.
Mexico’s Fonoteca Nacional, which archives old radio shows and other kinds of recordings, published a radio recording Thursday showing what it believes is the sound of the artist’s voice reciting fragments of “Portrait of Diego,” a text she wrote in 1949 to describe her husband, acclaimed painter and muralist Diego Rivera.
“He is a big boy, immense, with a friendly face and a sad look,” the calm, clear female voice says in a sweet tone, going on to describe his “dark, very intelligent and large eyes,” and other physical and intellectual traits.
The Mexican government published the latest finding with caution: It says that while some evidence suggests that the voice in the recording does belong to Kahlo, it has not been able to fully confirm the information.
According to Fonoteca Nacional, the recording seems to be a pilot episode of the radio program called “El Bachiller” from the 1950s, hosted by Alvaro Gálvez y Fuentes.
“This will give new clues about the life and personality of this great painter,” the agency said.
The sound waves in the recording were analyzed and it was determined that the voice does not belong to a professional announcer, since it is noticeable when the woman takes a breath and “tends to lisp,” Pável Granados, director of Fonoteca Nacional, said.
As part of the investigation, experts are now interviewing those who knew Kahlo.
Granados said that Guadalupe Rivera Marín, who is Diego Rivera’s daughter, recognizes the recording as the voice of Kahlo. Others who knew her, like Esteban Volkov, who is Leon Trotsky’s grandson (Trotsky spent time there and was killed in Mexico) still have their doubts.