Hans Bellmer is best known for the life-sized female dolls that he produced in the mid-1930s and which he obsessively photographed over the next decade. Although Bellmer is generally classified as a Surrealist, he actually initiated his doll project with a specific political purpose: to oppose the fascism of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party in Germany in the 1930s. After the rise to power of the Nazi Party in 1933, Bellmer, an established painter and graphic designer, declared that he would make no work that would support the German state. The unconventional or “degenerate” poses of his dolls were directed specifically at the cult of the perfect body then prominent in Germany. The dolls are represented in a constant state of mutation, multiplication, and recombination, often appearing contorted or bound, and occasionally lacking body parts or sprouting extra sets of limbs. These permutations echo autoerotic sensations rooted in the body. Bellmer’s work was also an attempt to destabilize representations of gender being widely circulated in contemporary mass culture.