Hans Bellmer (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.
Bellmer was born in the city of Kattowitz, in then-German Empire (now Katowice, Poland). Since 1926 he had been working as a draftsman for his own advertising company. He initiated his doll project to oppose the fascism of the Nazi Party by declaring that he would make no work that would support the new German state. Represented by mutated forms and unconventional poses, his dolls were directed specifically at the cult of the perfect body then prominent in Germany. Bellmer was influenced in his choice of art form by reading the published letters of Oskar Kokoschka (Der Fetisch, 1925).
Bellmer’s doll project is also said to have been catalysed by a series of events in his personal life, including meeting a beautiful teenage cousin in 1932 – and perhaps other unattainable beauties; and attending a performance of Jacques Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann (in which a man falls tragically in love with an automaton); and receiving a box of his old toys. After these events he began to actually construct his first doll. In his works, Bellmer explicitly sexualized the doll as a young girl. On the other hand, the doll incorporated the principle of “ball joint” , which was inspired by a pair of sixteenth-century articulated wooden dolls in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum. Read full wikipedia article.