December 9, 2010 § 1 Comment
Born Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob (1894-1954) in Nantes, Cahun was raised primarily by her grandmother as her mother was incapable to take care of hair due to mental problems. She began making self portraits at the age of 18, and continued making those intricate pictures throughout the thirties.
Changing through a set of gender ambiguous names, she settled down to Claude Cahun at around 1919. A year later she settled in Paris, along with her life long partner (and step sister) Suzanne Malherbe, where they continued to work on various art forms including writing, collage and photo-montage.
Mostly remembered for her staged self portraits and surrealist tableaux, Claude Cahun challenged perceptions of sexuality, gender,beauty and realism; an important addition to the Parisian surrealist movement who, unlike her male counterparts, represented the female form ambiguous and diverse rather than as a pure symbol of eroticism. (I don’t mean this to sound like feminist propaganda, I’m just pro diversity)