The collector is the true resident of the interior. The collector dreams his way not only into a distant or bygone world but also into a better one.
- Walter Benjamin
John Heartfield (born Helmut Herzfeld) was a German artist that specialized in photomontage, frequently using his craft as a political weapon. One of the founders of the Berlin Dada movement, Heartfield anglicized his name in 1917 at the height of World War II in protest of the rising anti-British sentiment in Germany. He is perhaps best known for his work for the Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung (Workers' Illustrated Paper) and the Malik-Verlag (the Malik Press), of which many examples are shown above. Staunchly communist, Heartfield narrowly escaped the Nazis and in 1934 fled to Prague, where he continued to print the Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung and produce photomontages for Czech books until Czechoslovakia was also overrun by the Nazis. During the war, Heartfield stayed in Great Britain, and after the war, he returned to Germany where he spent his remaining years. One of the chief progenitors of the art of political photomontage, Heartfield was influential internationally, including in Czech photomontage. For more photomontage, see my page.