Claude Cahun was way ahead of her time, a transgender Jewish lesbian and anti-fascist artist. In the 1920s and ‘30s, Cahun created a series of theatrical self-portraits that David Bowie later described as “really quite mad, in the nicest possible way”. Her exploration of identity through self portraits was relentless and prefigured the work of artists such as Cindy Sherman by seventy years. Enigmatic and surprising, her sheer extravagence of invention and experimentation are unsurpassed. She was born in France, spent most of her life on the island of Jersey with her stepsister and lover Marcel Moore, was imprisoned by the Nazis for resistance activity and died in 1972. Cahun and Moore adopted their gender neutral pseudonyms in early adulthood.
Claude Cahun, Self portrait, 1927
Claude Cahun, Self portrait, 1928
Claude Cahun, Self portrait, 1932