Toto Frima is born in The Hague as the second child in a family with three girls and one boy. She grows up in Zoetermeer.
Toto makes her first pictures, selfportraits, often with an emotional and erotic touch. In this initial period she is strongly encouraged by Manfred Heiting, at that time the Director of Polaroid Creative Design Europe. He keenly follows her artistic development and supports her by letting her dispose of working material and by buying photographs. This way Toto's very first SX70 Polaroid photographs go directly to the Polaroid Collection.
After Toto Frima's first exhibition, the group exhibition: 'Instantanées' (with a catalogue) in the Centre Pompidou, she finds herself right in the heart of the world of accepted photography. The Centre Pompidou takes two pictures in its collection.
Toto lives in Brussels for one year and afterwards she lives for one year in a row with her mother in a village in the Betuwe, on the (Dutch) countryside. She uses this period for experimenting with her polaroid camera. She likes this way of working so much that she continues making polaroids for the rest of her career. Because the result of the photograph is immediately to be seen during the working process, she can adapt the next pictures, so that they correspond with her mood of the moment. She takes many photographs, at first all single ones. Once movement blurring comes into her work, she starts making series, a.o. in order to emphasize that her pictures do not occur accidentally, but are, on the contrary, carefully directed.
For the second time Toto Frima takes part in a group exhibition in the Centre Pompidou. It is called: 'Les autoportraits de photographes' (with a catalogue). On the last day of the exhibition some of her work is stolen.
Toto moves to Amsterdam. In this year she has her first solo exhibition in the Centre Pompidou. (Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris). Here she shows series of seven SX70 polaroids. At first sight the seven polaroids appear to be identical, but there is a slight difference in every picture, so that the photographs reinforce each other.
Toto's work changes, she now takes photographs of parts of the body, whereby the series shows the body as a whole. The shape is changing, but the subject, "the self-image" becomes more and more outspoken. These photographs are the starting point for a number of ciba-chromes that are shown in the Canon Image Centre in Amsterdam.
The photo magazine 'Foto' publishes a portfolio with her first large Polaroids and her first black/white work: 'Toto Frima een vrouw met zichzelf' (transl.: Toto Frima, a woman with herself).
The "Rijksdienst Beeldende Kunst" (national service for plastic arts) buys a 50x60 Polaroid.
Toto has a large solo exhibition in the "Rheinisches Landes Museum" in Bonn. At the same time a book is published which is titled: 'Toto Frima 50x60'. The book, hardcover, sixty color pictures, has a foreword by professor Klaus Honnef, the curator of the exhibiton in Bonn. Beside a Dutch edition, there also is an English and a German edition by the Nishen Verlag, Berlin and London. After Bonn, the 50x60 exhibition goes to the Musée de la photographie in Charlerois, Belgium, the Liberia Maeght in Barcelona, the university of Valencia, Spain, and "de Meervaart" in Amsterdam.
The Polaroid Collection is dissolved and the art work is distributed. Toto Frima's work goes to the "Maison Europèenne de la Photographie, Ville de Paris".
Re-orientation on her own work and life. Toto is educated to be a social worker and she has several jobs in the field of assistance and care for elderly people.
After a period of almost 5 years without self-images, Toto Frima starts again to make her small SX70 polaroids. The polaroid SX70 material she knows so well now is the basis for scans and prints. After a long period of silence, Toto exhibits a series of Lambda's in "De Melkweg" in Amsterdam.
She also starts working again with the large camera, which has meanwhile been moved from Frankfurt am Main to Prague. Several exhibitions of new work follow: scans of her SX70, lambda's and 24x24" material. The work Toto shows now has evolved, it has become more sober and voyeuristic elements have consciously been banished.
Exhibitions with new work in Zaragoza, Spain and Vlaardingen, Netherlands.Toto is invited by Polaroid to work with the 20x24" camera at the Photokina Cologne, she continues her new series of close-up portraits. A new cooperation is started with different galleries: Parade in Amsterdam, Zero Infiniti at Besancon, 51 fine art phography at Antwerpen and Pons & Schmid at Brussels.
Toto Frima - Exhibitions Overview
SPECTRUM, Zaragoza Spanje
MELKWEG, cafe restaurant: de zwarte muur, Amsterdam, NL
IM FOCUS, GALERIE AM DOM Burckhard Arnold, Keulen, Duitsland
GALLERIE Leiden, NL
MUSEO KEN DAMY
"VALENTINE EROTIC ART SHOW", Kunsthandel Parade Amsterdam.
DARRY HELLEBUYCK - 19 impressies van een man, Kunstacademie, Belgie
LUDWIG MUSEUM "Zartlichen Betrachtung Schöner Damen" Keulen Duitsland.