(March 13, 1902 - February 23, 1975) was a German artist, best known for the life-sized pubescent female dolls he produced in the mid-1930s. Historians of art and photography also consider him a Surrealist photographer.To show his repudiation of Fascism and the aesthetic it propagated, Hans Bellmer began to construct girlish three-dimensional dolls, which he photographed in erotic poses.Some of these works were published by Bellmer at his own expense in 1934, others appeared in the Surrealist journal "Le Minotaure", ensuring Bellmer important ranking among Paris Surrealists.
"One of the most important characteristics of psychic life," the psychiatrist asserted, "is the tendency to multiply images and to vary them with every multiplication."
The curvaceous form is hardly that of child, but neither the face nor the large hair bow seem to belong to a mature woman. An arm, leg, and breast are missing from the figure; still-life objects serve as their surrogates: a baguette substitutes for the arm, the table leg wears the matching boot, a milk pitcher doubles as a breast. Bellmer depicted the body as an amalgamation of the organic and inorganic, transgressing its normative limits to incorporate aspects of its environment. He fantasized the body as a series of shifting, interchangeable erogenous zones, subject to the forces of psychic repression in what he termed "the physical unconscious."
"With a second (reversed) pelvis substituting for its chest, the doll is given buttocks for breasts, and these seem incongruously large, considering the undeveloped pudenda and the juvenile hair-bow. The doll's left leg is bound at the knee, while the right thigh ends abruptly in midair, exposing a hollow core. All is passive, inert: one hand lies limply against the banister, and a blank, unseeing eye suggests a loss of consciousness.
Who, one wonders, is responsible for the naked and abject condition of the doll?"
Bellmer felt he must understand why certain parts of the body were absent from his imaginary girl's awareness. Using terms from psychoanalysis such as "condensation" and "displacement" to develop his theory, he proposed that, in the body's sense of itself, various parts can stand for or symbolize others. He reasoned that, because amputees retain awareness of their missing limbs, the images of the absent parts may be taken over by other areas of the body.
Hans Bellmer said "If the origin of my work is scandalous, it is because, for me, the world is scandal."