Bettina Rheims

Bettina Rheims Portrait_0

This year, the presidency of the Photography Jury is entrusted to French photographer Bettina Rheims. An exhibition retraces her L.A. years in a series of photos taken between 1994 and 1997 with Bill Mullen. 

The woman who has had a knack of looking at women and photographing them with precision and sensitivity since the beginning of her career in the early 70s will preside over the Photography Jury of the 33rd edition of the Festival of Fashion and Photography at the Villa Noailles. Discovered in 1979 by the great Helmut Newton during her very first exhibition about strip teasers in Pigalle, Bettina Rheims made a name for herself as a key photographer of the 1990s.  Her work focuses on portraits of women – famous or anonymous – revealing a theme dominated by honesty and an unconventional relationship with iconography.

From her series “Chambre Close” (1990-1992), which marks the start of her collaboration with writer Serge Bramly, to her series “Gender Studies” in 2011, by way of “Modern Love” (1989-1990) and “Détenues” in 2014, the photographer questions nudity, gender, androgyny and transsexuality. Making the flesh of a model come to life, revealing its primitive femininity or shedding light on those who are forgotten or banned by our society.

Prisoners – Bettina Rheims

For the International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Accessories, and with the help of stylist Jean Colonna, Bettina Rheims explores her L.A. years and the highly prolific creative relationship that she cultivated with Bill Mullen, Fashion Director of Details magazine, from 1994 to 1997. Together, they photographed actors and actresses, singers and musicians, so many faces from the pop culture of the 1990s. In this schizophrenic city, Bettina Rheims found the perfect staging material, from run-down motels to artificially blue swimming pools. Alternating between harmony and disruption, the color follows the riffs of the soundtrack by Bettina and Bill during these three years, somewhere between a ballad and rock music.

Today, the famous portraitist continues to take on subjects close to her heart, driven by the same commitment and conviction.