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Staff Report

NEW YORK, 5 October 2006—Born in Paris in 1952, Bettina Rheims’ prime subject is glamour. Not sentiment, not nostalgia, and—though it can be a useful element—not even beauty. Just pure glamour, which she argues, has little to do with fame or celebrity, even though Claudia Schiffer, Kylie Minogue, Angelina Jolie, and Madonna make cameo appearances in her staged photographs.

nude claudia schiffer
Bettina Rheims: Claudia VI, Paris, 1987
Gelatin silver print (1/3)
59 x 47 ¼ inches
(150 x 120 cm)
Signed, Mounted
Photo courtesy of Cook Fine Art 

On view until 31October at Cook Fine Art in New York, Bettina Rheims: Twenty-five Years spans a period 25 years from the mid-1980s to the present. Included in the exhibition is a selection of pictures from her first book, Female Trouble, published in 1989, as well as images from the series Chambre close (1992/93), Pourquoi m'a tu abandonné (1996), and Shanghai (2003).

Bettina Rheims: Elizabeth Berkley on a Thick Dirty Green Carpet
 Los Angeles, March 1995
Cibachrome (1/5)
From the series Pourquoi m’as-tu abandonnée?
47 ¼ x 47 ¼ inches (120 x 120 cm)

Photo courtesy of Cook Fine Art 

The pictures in Female Trouble are pictures of women, famous models, movie stars, friends, in various stages of undress, nudity or simply nakedness, in high-contrast black and white. The photographer has called them portraits nus. Black gloves, dark stockings, a mask, make skin whiter and the image more graphic overall. The models sometimes face the camera, as if posing for a portrait.

Bettina Rheims: 14 Juillet , Paris
Cibachrome (2/3)
31 ½ x 31 ½ inches
(80 x 80 cm)
Signed, mounted
Photo courtesy of Cook Fine Art   

Also included in the show are pictures from More Trouble (2004), a collection of photographs of women celebrities from the previous ten years. A major retrospective exhibition of Bettina Rheims' work continues to travel in Europe through 2006.

Bettina Rheims: Twenty-five Years
Until 31 October 2006
Cook Fine Art
1063 Madison Avenue (between 80th and 81st Street)
New York, NY
Tel: (1) 212 737 35 50

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