Post by Admin on Jun 23, 2019 9:04:06 GMT -4
That's not her – family and friends dismiss 'Frida Kahlo' audio clip
Mexico’s National Sound Library unearthed recording of woman reading Kahlo’s essay
Relatives and former students of the late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo have dismissed claims that a recently discovered recording could be the only surviving trace of her voice.
Last week, the National Sound Library of Mexico unearthed what it said could be audio of Kahlo reading from her essay portraying her husband, the fellow artist Diego Rivera.
The recording, made for the 1955 radio show El Bachiller, aired a year after Kahlo died in 1954.
In the clip, a female voice is heard describing Rivera as resembling an “enormous, immense child with a friendly face and a sad gaze”.
The problem, according to Kahlo’s descendants, is that the voice is not hers.
“As far as Kahlo family knows, there are no records of Frida’s voice,” they said in a statement.
They also pointed out that one of the artist’s students, Arturo Estrada Hernández, had also said the voice on the recording was not Kahlo’s.
Another former student, Guillermo Monroy Becerril – who remembers his friend and teacher as “a dazzling, optimistic woman dedicated to painting” – said he did not recognise the voice either.
Monroy told the Spanish news agency Efe he and his friends had practically lived with Kahlo at the Casa Azul, her family home in Mexico City.
“The thing is, I don’t recognise the voice,” he said. “The first time I met her, I noticed she was a woman with a very sweet, cheerful voice … Frida’s real voice was very lively, charming, and cheery. It wasn’t serious or smooth or delicate … it was crystal clear.”
A Mexican actor believes the recording is actually of her voice, and was made in 1953 or 1954. Amparo Garrido, who gave the voice to Snow White when Disney’s 1937 film was dubbed into Spanish in the 1960s, told the Mexican radio station Radio Fórmula: “I feel it’s me and have for a while. I recorded various things for El Bachiller … I’m almost absolutely sure that I recorded this one.”
Garrido’s children also say they recognised their mother’s voice in the clip.
One of them, Ismael, has said he doubts Kahlo would have been well enough to record the reading.
“Frida Kahlo was born in 1907, she died in 1954, and this audio is meant to be from 65 years ago – so it has to be from the year she died,” he told the station.
“That makes things difficult, because in 1954, she was in hospital practically the whole time. And besides, the voice is rather an affected one.”
Pável Granados, the head of the National Sound Library, said Kahlo’s voice was the “most requested and sought-after” by visitors.
“Until now, there had never been a recording of Frida Kahlo,” he said last week. “Frida’s voice has always been a great enigma, a never-ending search.”
The library’s role is to preserve and make public documentary sound archives for Mexico. Its collection, amassed over a decade, features the voices of some of the country’s most important historical figures.