Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Monday History

                                                Adolf the Superman: Swallows Gold and Spouts Junk
                                                        gelatin silver print, photomontage, 1932

This piece was used as an anti-Hitler poster in the 1932 election. It refers to the financial backing Hitler received from wealthy industrialists who feared Germany would vote for a Communist government. 

John Heartfield was a German artist whose politically charged photomontages were banned in his home country during the Nazi regime.

Heartfield was born in 1891 as Helmut Herzfeld. He changed his name in part as a way to protest World War I; he even feigned madness to avoid returning to the service. During the Weimar period he became a member of the Berlin DADA group. He used his collage work as a political medium, incorporating images from the political journals of the day. He edited "Der DADA" and organized the First International DADA Fair in Berlin in 1920.

Sharply critical of the Weimar Republic, Heartfield’s work was banned during the Third Reich, then rediscovered in the Democratic Republic in the late 1950s. Since then, his art has influenced generations of artists and graphic designers.


Check out more of his work, write a brief description including some of his pieces discussing how you feel about his work.  Specifically, about how he was treated during the war, why you feel his work was so powerful, and whether or not you feel it deserved to be banned during this time.

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