Hans Bellmer was born in 1902 in Kattowicz, Poland. He studied under George Grosz in Berlin. This surrealist artist's work consisted most famously of photographs (also paintings, drawings, etchings and engravings) of female dolls, which he depicted wholly or partially nude and in suggestive, often disturbing poses. They were headless, footless, armless, skewed and tortured. With the help of his brother, an engineer, he made the "poupées" (dolls) that he photographed; some of them with exagerated sexual characteristics. Denounced by the Nazis as a degenerate, he fled to Paris and fell in with the Surrealists there (he did some collaborative work with Man Ray). He died there in 1975.

See the biography Hans Bellmer: The Anatomy Of Anxiety, by Sue Taylor.

Hans Bellmer used his mannequins, or dolls as he referred to them, and posed them in sexually explicit positions to work out his feelings towards his 14-year-old cousin. It was said these dolls were “…the ideal object of his dreams and a protest in the name of childhoodagainst the stifling adult world.” This may be a much better alternative to him acting on his feelings, but at the same time, this information makes his already disturbing images even more so.

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