Ottmar Hörl (born 1950 in Nauheim, Germany) is co-founder of the group Formalhaut, professor of Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg, Germany and since 2005 president of the Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg.

“I have dismissed the idea of creating works for eternity. I am interested in the idea of appearing and disappearing. The work I do as a sculptor dissolves again,” he has said.

A recent installation of Hitler-saluting gnomes sparked a controversy in Germany where Nazi salutes and symbols are illegal. The case against Horl was eventually dropped as it was recognized that the piece was satirical, and the artist has since seen a run on requests for his creations.

Hörl, who has made other mass reproductions, including a group of praying dwarfs made in the image of Pope Benedict that provoked a similar row, said his gnomes were meant to highlight the rise of fascism in Germany and were a “historical social gesture”. “I want to show that there is far-right thought in the heads of all of us,” he said, adding that gnomes were a particularly fitting method for conveying his message “in a lighter and unpatronizing way, at the same time as being strong enough to provoke a reaction.”