You could call her transgressive or you could call her a crossdressing Man Ray with surrealist tendencies. I find this work really quite mad, in the nicest way.Outside of France and now the UK she has not had the kind of recognition that, as a founding follower, friend and worker of the original surrealist movement, she surely deserves. Meret Oppenheim was not the only one with a short haircut. - David Bowie, 2007
Conceptually, Cahun’s work plays with role reversal and a sense of fluid identity. Cahun used her public gender fluid identity to comment on notions of sexuality, gender, beauty, and logic. Her photographs largely featured theatrically staged self-portraits and tableaux with representations that range from dandy, skinhead, nymph, model, and soldier. Her surrealist photomontages create an ambiguous space where the self and sexuality are constantly morphing and transforming. Cahun succeeds in playing with our expectations of photography and it’s capacity to capture the “real”, playing with the layered experience of a modern consciousness. Cahun stood apart from male dominated group of Surrealist who used the female form to express latent eroticism. She breaks down this perpetuation of stagnant gender roles in her haunting photographs and writing.