Advertisement

First-Ever Frida Kahlo Voice Recording May Have Been Discovered

One of the world's most recognisable faces may finally have a voice, after an audio recording believed to be of Frida Kahlo was discovered in Mexico.

Mexican Artist Frida Kahlo’s iconic work, predominantly self-portraiture, has made her image instantly recognisable.

She died in 1954, but to this day her face remains a culturally iconic symbol, appearing on everything from clothing to home décor and greeting cards.

Despite this, there are no known recordings of her voice -- but that may be about to change.

In an official press release, the National Sound Library and Mexico announced it has discovered what could be the first ever audio recording of Frida Kahlo. The recording was found in the pilot of a radio show ‘El Bachiller’ (‘The Bachelor’) that aired a year after Kahlo’s death in 1955.

READ MORE: The Artist Making The World See What They Don't Want To

Artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera married in 1929, divorced in 1939 and remarried a year later. Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

The voice, believed to be that of Kahlo's, reads from her 1949 essay titled 'Portrait of Diego'.

Kahlo married fellow Mexican artist Diego Rivera in 1929, and their tumultuous relationship was marred in controversy. They divorced in 1939, only to remarry the next year, and the two remained married until her death.

READ MORE: We Louvre What Beyoncé And Jay-Z Are Doing For Art Tourism

READ MORE: ‘A Game Changer’: Melbourne To Get Largest Contemporary Art Gallery In Australia

Kahlo is not mentioned  by name in the audio recording, but the voice of the woman reading is referred to as “she who no longer exists.”

The soft female voice in the recording can be heard saying, "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 -- 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 voice appears to match an often quoted description by photographer Gisele Freund, who once wrote, "Frida smokes, laughs, speaks with a warm and melodious voice."

READ MOREThe Eyes Have It: Melbourne Artist Wins Archibald Prize People's Choice Award

Frida Kahlo with her self-portrait titled 'Me Twice' (1939). Photo: Bettmann / Contributor via Getty

Head of the national audio archives, Pável Granados said the voice of Kahlo was one of the most frequently requested. He told a press conference, "Frida's voice has always been a great enigma, a never-ending search.”

Experts will now study the recording to determine whether it really is of Frida Kahlo’s voice. The collection of 'El Bachiller' contains another 1,300 tapes that will be digitised to see if there are other recordings by Kahlo.