(b Kattowitz, Germany [now Katowice,
Poland], 13 March 1902; d Paris, 24 Feb 1975v)
German photographer, sculptor,
printmaker, painter and writer. As a child he developed fear and
hatred for his tyrannical father, who totally dominated his gentle
and affectionate mother. He and his younger brother Fritz found
refuge from this oppressive family atmosphere in a secret garden
decorated with toys and souvenirs and visited by young girls who
joined in sexual games. In 1923 Bellmer was sent by his father to
study engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, but he
became interested in politics, reading the works of Marx and Lenin
and joining in discussions with artists of the Dada Movement. He was
especially close to George Grosz, who taught him drawing and
perspective in 1924 and whose advice to be a savage critic of
society led him to abandon his engineering studies in that year.
Having shown artistic talent at an early age, he began designing
advertisements as a commercial artist and illustrated various Dada
novels, such as Das Eisenbahnglück oder der Antifreud (1925) by
Mynona, in a style influenced by Grosz.
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