Bettina Rheims

About Artist: Bettina (Caroline Germaine) Rheims is a French photographer born in Neuilly-sur-Seine on 18 December 1952. Bettina Rheims’ photographic career began in 1978, when she took a series of photos of a group of strip-tease artists and acrobats, which would lead to her first exhibitions. This work would unveil Bettina Rheims’ favourite subject, the female model, to which she would frequently return during her career. “I love the flesh. I am a photographer of the skin”. The 1980s provided Bettina Rheims with the opportunity to take several portraits of both famous and unknown women, resulting in the publication of Female Trouble (1989). In 1982, the Animal series enabled her to train her lens on another form of nudity: that of stuffed animals with fixed stares, “which seemed to want to express something beyond death”.In 1982, the Animal series enabled her to train her lens on another form of nudity: that of stuffed animals with fixed stares, “which seemed to want to express something beyond death”.At the beginning of the 1990s, Bettina Rheims worked on one of her major series, entitled Chambre Close (1990-1992). This was her first in colour and marked the start of her collaboration with the novelist Serge Bramly, in a work which saw her photographs coupled with the writer’s fiction. In its form, Chambre Close is a parody of the first pornographic photos — rooms with faded walls, old fashioned wallpaper — yet, in its substance, it endeavours to stage amateur models in poses playing on the eroticism and the confusion between those who are looking and those who are showing themselves.

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