John Heartfield (1891 - 1968) is the anglicized name of the German photomontage artist Helmut Herzfeld. He chose to call himself Heartfield in 1916, to criticize the rabid nationalism and anti-British sentiment prevalent in Germany during World War I. After meeting Bertolt Brecht, who was to have an influence on his art, Heartfield developed photomontage into a form of political and artistic representation. He worked for two communist publications: the daily Die Rote Fahne and the weekly Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung (AIZ), the latter of which published the works for which Heartfield is best remembered.
In 1933, after the National Socialists came to power in Germany, Heartfield relocated to Czechoslovakia, where he continued his photomontage work for the AIZ (which was published in exile); in 1938, fearing a German takeover of his host country, he left for England, living in Hampstead. He settled in East Germany and Berlin after World War II.