Bettina (Caroline Germaine) Rheims is a French photographer born in Neuilly-sur-Seine on 18 December 1952. [Her] 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).
Bettina Rheims has also worked on advertising campaigns for fashion and big brands, such as Chanel and Lancôme, as well as taking portraits of famous women for international magazines [… including] Madonna, Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Rampling, Carole Bouquet, Marianne Faithfull, Barbara, Kylie Minogue, Claudia Schiffer, [and] Asia Argento.
Bettina Rheims says that she has been inspired by Diane Arbus and Helmut Newton as well as by the work of early painters.
Her citing Helmut Newton as an inspiration is wholly unsurprising; I was introduced to Rheims and Newton at a joint exhibition of their work in Sydney. Other sources of information are the artist’s website, her Facebook page, and the Jed Root Group.