Since the early 1980s, Bettina Rheims has become one of the most internationally respected contemporary photographers. Through her many books and exhibitions of her work she is renowned throughout Europe, the USA, Asia and Australia. Rheims discovered her love of photography after working from the other side of the lens as a model, and later as a journalist and an art dealer.
In 1981 her first exhibition Bettina featuring strip-tease artists and acrobats appeared at the Centre Pompidou and at the Galerie Texbraun in Paris. Encouraged by the success of her first show, Rheims produced a series of images of stuffed animals which were also exhibited in Paris and later in New York.
Her powerful portraits of women taken from the 1989 monograph, Female Trouble, were exhibited in Germany and Japan; Rheims then turned the camera on androgynous teenagers. The portraits titled Modern Lovers (1990), were exhibited in France, England and the USA.
Rheims’ collaboration on several books with famed writer Serge Bramly has also brought her further international recognition. Chambre Close (1992) – featuring intimate portraits of women with prose written by Bramly became a best seller and is regularly re-edited.