ORLAN was born in 1947 in Saint-Étienne. She lives and works in Paris, Los Angeles and New York.
Since the 1960s ORLAN has been developing a critique of the social pressures placed on the body, especially questioning the archetypes associated with beauty. To do this, this multimedia artist uses various media such as performance, video, photography, digital images and sculpture.
ORLAN is the only artist to have used cosmetic surgery as a means of artistic expression, using her body as the material and the operating theatre as her studio. She has planned the ongoing transformation of her appearance in order to re-appropriate it, and indeed between 1990 and 1993 she underwent a series of surgical operation performances, from which many artistic creations resulted.