ORLAN is a French contemporary artist best known for her work with plastic surgery in the early to mid-1990s.
ORLAN is known as a pioneer of carnal art, a form of self-portraiture that utilizes body modification to distort one's appearance. She adopted the pseudonym "ORLAN" in 1971, and capitalises each letter because, as ORLAN states, she has 'no desire to step back into rank.' She lives and works in Paris.
She practices painting, sculpture, photography and video, and produces plastic works, installations and performances. She also uses digital media, surgery, medicine, robotics, AI and biotechnologies. ORLAN says that her art is not body art, but rather 'carnal art,' which lacks the suffering aspect of body art.
ORLAN's performance artwork uses famous depictions of women by male artists, for example, Mona Lisa and Jean-Léon Gérôme's artwork depicting a woman with horns, to inform her surgery choices and performance art. By doing so, ORLAN is replicating ideal features of women depicted in famous artwork throughout time, on her own body and face.