Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Hans Bellmer


e725 Ace Reporter Natasha, checks into the Obscene Machine labyrinth with a worthy posting on Hans Bellmer's work:


From: "natasha"
To:
Subject: blog submission
Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2007 12:35:58 -0700

Prof.Nericcio,

I came across an artist that I felt we could apply to our class and many of the works we have been sharing. Hans Bellmer (1902- 1975) was a French sculpture and photographer.


Among the art world, he was thought as a Surrealist. He was best known for his bizarre, life-sized dolls that he created in the 1930's. He first started making the dolls to oppose fascism of the Nazi Party. Many of the doll parts and poses were extremely odd and unusual, many with 'mutated forms and unconventional poses.' (see plates) He designed the doll project to renounce the Nazi Party's idea of the 'perfect body.' Bellmer was forced to flee to Paris after the Nazi Party declared his work immoral. Although his work was more broadly accepted in Paris, he did spend most of WWII in prison but did eventually resided in Paris. He stopped making dolls and for the rest of his life proceeded creating erotic drawings, paintings, and photographs depicting adolescent girls.





Today, more than ever with so many anorexic models, actresses, musicians, role models etc (who desperately need to be fed )...we need to send a positive message to our youth and campaign for better representation of young women in our advertisements. If not the consequences could be severe. Bellmer's work shows us that these issues have been pressing since the beginning of time.

Thank you! Natasha

8 comments:

  1. Tanya Von Essen3:36 PM

    When I first saw these photos, I was captivated and wished to learn more about the artist. I think that Hans Bellmer’s work is both intriguing and monumentally significant to the past and when applied to today’s society. It was a very rare yet momentous thing to do something out of the ordinary and be an idiosyncratic individual in Nazi Germany, and standing up against conventions was often fatal. But Hans Bellmer stood up to these conventions. Hans Bellmer’s, at the time, very controvercial work went against the way people were ‘supposed’ to look and went against conventional art of the time. In his eccentrically beautiful work he showed the people of Germany, and the world, that there is no such thing as a perfect body. That ideology is also very important today with all of the magazines and movies that portray the ‘beautiful’ people as anorexic, blonde-haired Barbies! I think that more people need to stand up to conventions like Hans Bellmer did, and maybe then, women would realize that beauty is more than just skin-deep.

    ~ Tanya Von Essen Eng. 493

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  2. i found these images not only to be powerful but very ironically metaphorical. These mannequins are depiction's of 'perfection", unachievable waistlines and complexions. Yet, these mannequins are also the depiction of hollowed out, empty and broken soul. The image of destroying and blackening ones inside all in the pursuit of of aesthetic beauty is very reminiscent of Dorian Gray. I applaud Hans Bellmer's for his thought provoking work.

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  3. i found these images not only to be powerful but very ironically metaphorical. These mannequins are depiction's of 'perfection", unachievable waistlines and complexions. Yet, these mannequins are also the depiction of hollowed out, empty and broken soul. The image of destroying and blackening ones inside all in the pursuit of of aesthetic beauty is very reminiscent of Dorian Gray. I applaud Hans Bellmer's for his thought provoking work.

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  4. Hans Bellmer is an unusual artist. At first glance at his artwork I thought to myself, “What the hell was this guy thinking bolting up dolls into such an awkward shape? Is he some sick bastard who likes to play with dolls, or is he some guy who has so much hatred towards women that he tears dolls apart as a way of punishing them, instead of really hurting or abusing a woman?” Whatever the case may be, Bellmer had an extraordinary imagination. Art can be depicted in any way shape or form and Bellmer decided to express his imagination with ball-jointed dolls (as weird as that may sound…). He had an impressive way of dissecting, releasing, and reconstructing these mannequins, which people recognize as beautiful works of art. Through his artwork I believe he wanted to portray the fact that no one can have a perfect body. Women are constantly conscious of their bodies and diet, “Am I fat? How many calories does that have?” Women are stuck with the idea that they have to be thin with blonde hair, blue eyes, but who really cares? Everyone is beautiful in his or her own way. Even with Bellmer’s dolls shaped in an odd and unusual way, they are known to be beautiful works of art, so why can’t we look at ourselves that way?

    ~Kristine Romero
    Eng. 493

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  5. When I first saw these photos by Hans Bellmer, I instantly thought of an odd connection, it reminded me of a book that I had recently read through titled Exquisite Corpse: Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder by Sarah Bayliss and Mark Nelson. The book was a fascinating read and posed an interesting conspiracy theory: did the killer of the notorious Black Dahlia, one of gruesome Hollywood legend, draw inspiration from Surrealist artists drawing dismembered women and objects? I'm always one for a conspiracy theory, and the dismembered body of young actress Elizabeth Short instantly reminded me of these contorted, yet alluring photographs of Bellmer's. There are plenty of theories as to who killed the Black Dahlia, but no killer or motive has been found. And, the authors even propose that the dismembered Dahlia body was meant to ressemble a surrealist art piece. Who is to say life doesn't imitate art?

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  6. These were my initial thoughts on Bellmer's work:'Although I am glad to see an artist use "real" bodies as opposed to anorexic bodies;I couldn't help but be disturbed by these photos. They remind me of photographs of a bloodless murder scene. The way all the limbs lay lifeless look in a surreal kind of way very real.I can't help but stare at these body parts.'
    Images such as these are far and few between. Today we are forced to see images that are completely and utterly FAKE! We are fed images of beyond white teeth and bone baring models and actors/actresses. Everywhere we turn we come face to face with a God like creature on the magazines, on the television and in the movies. Bellmer's image made me realize just how often I see these FAKE images that are constantly spewed by the media. Bellmer's images starled me but in the end taught me a lesson about the materialistic, shallow society we Americans live in everyday.Bellmer is simply regurgitating these FAKE images through his art...good for him.

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  7. Anonymous6:21 PM

    HANS BELLMER was NOT French he WAS German - born March 13th 1902 in the mining town of Kattowitz, Germany - He LATER moved to France to be part of the Surrealist Group...

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  8. Anonymous7:12 PM

    It never ceases to amaze me at how naive (if not completely uneducated) you English Lit. majors are. Hans B. hated women. He hated his father. He expressed his hatred with his "art." Do you idiots honestly believe that a misogynistic sociopath is even thinking about "conventions"? After the war, he spent most of his time making erotic drawings, etchings, sexually explicit photographs, paintings and prints of pubescent girls. This was his sexual excitement. Eichmann used his orders as an excuse to help murder his fellow jews; Bellmer used the fascist culture to explain his "unconventional" art. If Mengele could have defended his actions as an art form, who knows where he'd be in today's pantheon?

    "Beautiful works of art"? "Regurgitating...FAKE images"? "Shallow society"? There is an ink tinted photo of a woman's vagina for sale through a gallery in Greenwich, CT: only $1,800,000.00. And the real shame is that there is probably an idiot out there ready to buy it. Absolutely pathetic.

    By the way, the Black Dahlia murder has been solved: by a detective who found some incriminating evidence in his father's personal effects after his father had died. His father was a physician-surgeon. Maybe even a frustrated artist. Very unconventional. Dahlia must have just pissed him off. You know how that goes.

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