Artistic courage: Heartfield tailored an art form to suit his ideological purpose, expressly designed to take full advantage of the methods of production and distribution available to him at the time. I imagine him furiously carving his way free of the pictorial conventions of European design, by sheer force of will and talent, splicing a streamlined, wicked pictorial slang into dramatic partnership with punning text that was easily understood by ordinary people sneaking furtive glances at illegal ’zines and, occasionally, even looking up at kiosks in the streets of Berlin.

Hitler got it, too:

“On Good Friday [April 14th], 1933, the SS broke at night into my apartment, where I happened to be in the process of packing up my works of art. I managed ...

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