Friday, March 11, 2016

Arty Farty Friday ~ Hans Bellmer, Psycho-Sexual Surrealist

Hans Bellmer, born on 13 March 1902 in what is now Poland, isn't an artist/sculptor/photographer whose work I admire, but his natal chart could be of interest. His surrealist psycho-sexual style strikes me as generally unpleasant.

From a book cover at Amazon: Hans Bellmer - The Anatomy of Anxiety

The German-born Surrealist Hans Bellmer (1902-1975), best known for his life-size pubescent dolls, devoted an artistic lifetime to creating sexualized images of the female body - distorted, dismembered, or menaced in sinister scenarios. In this book Sue Taylor draws on psychoanalytic theory to suggest why Bellmer was so driven by erotomania as well as a desire for revenge, suffering, and the safety of the womb. Although he styled himself as the quintessential Oedipal son, an avant-garde artist in perpetual rebellion against a despised father, Taylor contends that his filial attitude was more complex than he could consciously allow. Tracing a repressed homoerotic attachment to his father, castration anxiety, and an unconscious sense of guilt, Taylor proposes that a feminine identification informs all the disquieting aspects of Bellmer's art.

Most scholarship to date has focused on Bellmer's work of the 1930s, especially the infamous dolls and the photographs he made of them. Taylor extends her discussion to the sexually explicit prints, drawings, paintings, and photographs he produced throughout the ensuing three decades.

At this link is a 7 minute video outlining his life story and showing some of his work.

Alternatively, if in a hurry, for a quick look at some of his sculptures here's a 90 second video:

Hans Bellmer born on 13 March 1902 in Kattowitz, now in Poland.
Chart set for 12 noon as no time of birth is known.

Oppositions from Uranus to both Pluto and Neptune are generational aspects, but linked as they are here, to Bellmer's natal Sun and/or Mars, forming what astrologers call a T-square makes the generational aspect more personal. The formation reflects difficulties in areas represented by a sensitive but potentially aggressive or overly energetic (Sun/Mars) personality fighting against, challenging or addicted to erotic imaginings (Pluto Neptune), in some out of the ordinary (Uranus) manner.

Venus, planet of the arts, one of 3 personal planets in Aquarius, is in harmonious trine to Pluto (eroticism) and (a little widely) in trine to Neptune (creativity, imagination, addiction).

Natal Moon could be in Taurus, or possibly very late Aries. Moon is said to represent the mother in astrology, It's not easy to speculate which is more likely, Taurus and Pisces are friendly, Aquarius and Aries are friendly He loved his mother but hated/despised his father - said to be represented by Saturn. Perhaps his ascendant was opposite Saturn - not far away, by chance, from how the noon chart is aligned.

After mention of Theodore Adorno in Monday's post, coming across a further mention of him in the extract below, which also mentions Hans Bellmer, prompted me to cut and paste it here.

Extract taken from HERE. Click on it for larger, clearer version:


mike said...

Your excerpt from "Cultural Passions" connecting Adorno and Bellmer has preceding paragraphs linking Christianity-Paganism, Marxism, capitalism, surrealism, fetishism, etc, then leads into Adorno's summation of astrology as "disoriented agnosticism". I'm perplexed as to why Allum and Adorno find astrology in a pejorative category separate from religion, particularly Christianity, when it comes to authoritarianism and "neurotic symptoms, having their own rationality".

Bellmer's sculptures and other pieces aren't to my liking, either, but I find them very similar to many oil painters and photographers of that era. Maybe it's because the 3D sculptures with realistic female pieces appear more concrete and representative of an actual human body than the more abstracted depictions of other artists at that time. His work definitely has the mark of "erotomania" and psycho-sexual, but his Wiki entry states most of his work was in defiance of Fascism and-or social statement against the perfect human form that was popularized at that time. Interesting that Fascism and the perfect human (female) form is a popularized topic in our current time, too.

Pluto in Gemini may have induced a mental-obsessive quality to sexual topics during those years, as evidenced in psychology, fine art, and literature. It's interesting to me that Pluto in Taurus was essentially a sexually modest period, ending in 1884. It would seem that Pluto in Venus-ruled Taurus would have been the awakening...maybe it was the seed. Pluto's stay in Gemini was about 30 years (1884-1915), Neptune about half that, so definitely generational. However, you mention Uranus' opposition to Neptune and Pluto as generational, but it was only for about four years total.

Bellmer is another individual that has a string of semi-sextiles from Sagittarius to Pisces, then Neptune-Pluto in Gemini (not sure about the Moon's placement). His Neptune-Pluto make aspects to all of the other planets for better or worse. Viewing his work as political and-or social statements, I wouldn't necessarily expect to identify astrological correlations to sexual dysfunction as much as I would to Uranus-Aquarius qualifications, which his natal chart contains. His aspects can be read either way, I suppose.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Theodore Adorno strikes me as a distinct pain in the ass to be honest!

I think Bellmer had a fairly convincing cover for his personal obsession by explaining his stuff as being in defiance of Fascism, or a social statement against perfection in the human form. He was "hitting two nails with one swing".

Hmmm - on the generational remark re opposition of the outer planets. I guess, for absolute accuracy it would have been better for me to have written: "Pluto, Neptune and Uranus are generational rather than personal planets, here they form opposition, but because each links by square aspect to natal Sun and/or Mars, this draws them in to more personal relevance."