Selfportrait on Polaroid 50x60cm (two separate prints), 1985, vintage


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    Artist: Toto Frima

    Two unique 50×60 Polaroid prints, 1985, handsigned in margin right under.

    Provenance: privat collection by DB/TG

    Literature: 50×60 Toto Frima, published by Fragment Uitgeverij, Amsterdam, 1990, page 79.

    Toto Frima (1953) explored her own body and female identity through photography. She used herself in her quest. While the first photos were simple self-portraits in which she looked intensely and nervously into the camera, the photos have later grown into portraits of a self-confident woman who does not hesitate to show her sensual side as well.

    Toto Frima is self-taught as a photographer. In 1979, after eight years of modeling, she made her first photos, self-portraits with an erotic connotation. When her Polaroid SX70 photos are selected the following year for an international group exhibition at the Center Pompidou in Paris, her name is established in the photography world.

    In the mid-1980s, Toto Frima was given the opportunity to work with a special Polaroid camera. This camera makes 50×60 cm polaroids. Because she now has to work in a studio and in the presence of a technician, the work becomes less intimate, but Toto Frima remains faithful to her subject and only photographs herself.

    During the 80’s and 90’s there were only 3 Polaroid camera’s for the extraordinary size of 50x60cm images in Europe available. It was very expensive to use this camera, especially because the photographer needed a special assistant to use this equipment. Toto Frima had the possibility to use this camera for her projects several times since 1985 with the assistance of Jan Hnizdo.

    A Polaroids is a unique print, of which no copies exists. Although this print is 35 years old, the quality is still as new.

    In 1990 her first photo book ‘Toto Frima 50×60’ was published and the Rheinisches Landes Museum in Bonn organized a major retrospective of her work. Many of her self-images from this period are diptychs, distinct in shape and subtle in color and atmosphere.


    Provenance: this art work has been aquired in 1994 directly from Toto Frima, and has been in the possession of a Dutch collector ever since then.


    Na acht jaar zelf fotomodel te zijn geweest besloot Toto Frima (1953) in 1979 zelf te gaan fotograferen. Haar onderwerp werd vooral haar eigen lichaam en identiteit. Veel foto’s hebben een erotische lading en hebben een prachtig kleurenpalet wat mede terug te voeren is op het gebruik van polaroidfilm.

    In het begin werkte ze met een SX-70 polaroid camera, maar later werkte ze vooral op een 50x60cm formaat. Van dit type polaroid camera waren er maar enkele exemplaren in Europa en de kosten waren enorm.


    Toto Frima commence sa carrière de photographe en 1979 au sein du projet Polaroïd Creative Design Europe. En 1980, elle participe à l’exposition “Polaroïds” du Centre Pompidou aux côtés de Ansel Adams, Walker Evans, Helmut Newton, Andy Warhol…, et entre dans la collection Polaroïd.

    En 1994, la collection Polaroïd est dissoute et entre dans le fond de la Maison Européenne de la Photographie.

    Toto Frima a essentiellement travaillé avec le Polaroid SX-70 puis avec la chambre 50×60. Son œuvre est essentiellement issue de l’autoportrait photographique.


    Solo exhibitions: Centre Pompidou, Paris (1983-1984), Canon Image Centre, Amsterdam (1985), Rheinisches Landes Museum, Bonn (1990), Musées de la Photographie, Charleroi (1990-91), Liberia Maeght, Barcelona (1991), the University of Valencia (1991), De Meervaart, Amsterdam (1991), Galerie Melkweg, Amsterdam (1998), Gallery WM, Amsterrdam (2001).

    Group exhibitions: “Instantenées”, Centre Pompidou (1980), “Les autoportraits de photographes”, Centre Pompidou (1982), “Atelier Polaroid”, Centre Pompidou (1985), Sans titre, Photographie double exposition, Centre Pompidou (1989).

    Her art work has been concluded in the collections of Centre Pompidou (1980), Rijksdienst Beeldende Kunst (1988), Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Ville de Paris (1993).


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