This photograph is part of a body of works by singular and major figures, known and unknown, constituted to introduce students to the artists who were at the foundation of the art of the twentieth century. Taking a historical perspective, this collection positions gender issues, identified by the gender studies of the 1990s, as already present in artistic photographic practices, particularly very early ones, which were transgressive and ambiguous.
Today, the work of Pierre Molinier—who professed three passions, “painting, girls, and guns,”—is collected mainly for his photographs, which bring the invention of self to a climax. Permeated with the most varied manifestations of a mental and physical onanism, they are the equivalence of genders multiplying in one person, their irresistible attraction and communion. This self-portrait shows Molinier as a hermaphrodite, setting buttocks and breasts on the same plane. The fruit of a photomontage, it freely expresses the fusion and confusion of genders.