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Bettina Rheims (1952)….ANIMAL

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Bettina Rheims has been working as an artist since the early Seventies but rose to fame with a controversial series on strip-tease artist in 1978. Since her career took of and she was invited to publish her series of photographs with one of the best publishers in the art book business…Gina Kehayoff. Kehayoff is known for making immaculate publications , and she outperformed herself with the publication of the ANIMAL series by Bettina Rheims. The series of black and white photographs was done in 1982 and published in 1994, hard, cloth bound with see through ( perspex?) cover.

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TheĀ AnimalĀ 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”.”I had to capture their gaze” declared the photographer.

This book is, together with “Morceaux choisis”, my personal favorit book by Rheims and both are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Bettina Rheims ( 1958 ) another controversial title

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Here it is…another rarely encountered Bettina Rheims title. It is LES ESPIONNES.

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Published by one of the best photography publishers Gina Kehayoff, it stayed a rather obscure title and was rarely reviewed nor it was ordered by the regular Bookstores. My guess is the editions stayed under 1000 copies of which a few hundred were sold. What becomes of such an edition.? Not sold through the regular sales channels, only a handful loyal collectors who ordered it and certainly no interest by companies to have an imprint with their name on the cover. The reason…it is clear to me ..the subjects are transgenders who posed and were photographed by Bettina Rheims during the process of their transition. This has become one of the most important titles by Bettina Rheims and i was lucky to buy me a small stack of these important photography documents. The book is available through www.ftn-books.com and is still in mint sealed condition.