“Painting is like breathing for me, it would be very unfortunate for me to stop doing it”.


Joke Frima (Den Haag, 1952) studied between 1969 and 1974 at the Art Academy in Rotterdam and Tilburg. However at the academy she didn’t find what she was looking for. In 1976 she decided to apply at the Studio Simi in Florence, Italy where she was taught by signorina Simi, a very old lady who was classically educated by her father. These influences can be traced back in Frima’s work. She starts with a charcoal sketch op the canvas. Afterwards, she rubs the paint firmly into the canvas with a stiff brush. This results into an image where colours and shapes are vaguely clear compared to the end result. Then she paints onto a wet canvas with oil paint, without glazing. The harmonious colours are carefully selected to maintain a right colour ratio since they are a part of the composition.

Frima paints still lives of plants and objects from her atelier. In her plant still lives she displays a nature that hasn’t been eradicated yet by human interference. She searches for simple things that have their own special feature such as East-Indian watercress, a bunch of strawberry plants or a dandelion. The canvas is painted in a way that the viewer is looking at it from a close distance: a close up of a piece of nature. The normal and the unsightly are especially featured. Frima knows how to give an everyday subject rhythm, balance and attention in her paintings. The objects she chooses are connected through their shapes and colours.


Joke Frima taught at the Assosazione Culturale per Disegno e Pittura Realistica in Florence between 1981 and 1984. Since 1985 she settled in The Netherlands and has her first solo exhibition in 1989 at Gallery Mokum. In the spring of 2014 she will host an exhibition in honour of the 25th anniversary of Gallery Mokum. Currently, Joke Frima lives and works in France.