Claude Cahun was a French surrealist photographer, sculptor, and writer. His work reflected his political and social dissident beliefs. This article explores his work and its influence on popular culture. You’ll learn about his life and work, as well as some of the things you need to know about his famous self-portrait.
Portrait of Claude with Nazi insignia between her teeth
Two photographs, “Portrait of Claude with Nazi insignia in between her teeth” and “Self-portrait” disrupt the world of gender theatre in which Cahun and Moore lived. The first depicts Cahun with a beaded Star of David on her chest, while the second shows her with a Nazi insignia between her teeth. Both were taken shortly after World War II, just before she was to be executed by the Nazi occupiers of Jersey.
Cahun was born in Nantes, France, in 1894. As a teenager, she began experimenting with gender and sex identity. She would often use her camera and dressing-up box to transform herself into different roles. In the 1930s, she moved to Paris, where she encountered the Surrealist and gender revolutions. Andre Breton referred to Cahun as a curious spirit of the time.
Claude Cahun’s self-portrait
Claude Cahun’s self-Portrait is a provocative portrait, depicting the artist as a woman who has lost her hair. The artist’s hair resembles that of the Greek mythological monster, Medusa, whose gaze could turn men to stone. This portrait challenges the viewer, acknowledging the rage of the female psyche. Though a hairless woman, Cahun does not appear to be sleepy or convalescing, and her face is obscured by a soft mask.
Cahun was first and foremost a writer, but his most famous works were his striking self-portraits. He had previously published an anti-memoir, which was a collection of photographs of himself and his companion, photographer and painter Marcel Moore. Together, they created ten photomontages. The two eventually moved to La Rocquaise, a small village in the St Brelade’s Bay region of Jersey, where they were known as ‘les mesdames’ by the local residents.
Claude Cahun’s political dissident work
Claude Cahun was a French artist, photographer, and writer. Born in Nantes, she was the daughter of an avant-garde Jewish family. She went on to study at the University of Paris and the Sorbonne. During her early years, she began to write and photograph. At 18, she took her first self-portraits and continued through the 1930s. She also became known as Claude Cahun and Claude Courlis.
Cahun’s political dissident actions during the war were rooted in previous collaborations with Malherbe. In addition to writing texts in German, the two dissidents also went undercover to distribute flyers in German-occupied areas. They wore wigs and rumpled clothing. They often went to places associated with German soldiers, such as the St. Brelade cemetery, where German soldiers were buried. They also met at places where they could have fun and reminisce about their past.
Claude Cahun’s influence on popular culture
Claude Cahun was born in 1894 in Nantes, France. She was known as Lucy Schwob but later became Claude Cahun. She was a member of the Symbolist movement. Her father was a newspaper editor and her uncle was an orientalist. Her mother was a well-known figure in Paris. Her husband, David Leon Cahun, was part of the Orientalist movement. Several artists and writers were inspired by her work.
In addition to being a prolific photographer, Cahun was also an artist, writer, journalist, essayist, and poet. He also worked in the theatre and participated in Surrealist exhibitions in Paris and London. His works include the 1925 novel Heroines, a collection of writings, and his influential photo-collages entitled Aveux Non Avenus (1932).
Claude Cahun’s death
Claude Cahun was a surrealist French artist, photographer, sculptor, and writer. His death is one of the most tragic events in art history. His life was filled with a wide range of strange and unusual imagery. His work is often reminiscent of surrealist paintings and he is best known for his surreal landscape photographs.
Cahun died in 1954. He and his lesbian partner, Mary Moore, were accused of murdering Moore, and the two were convicted of the crime. Although Cahun had no intention of fame or fortune, his photos did reach wide audiences after his death. Although his death was untimely, his photographs and works were finally recognized during the 1990s.