Harue Koga

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Harue Koga (1895 -1933) was a Japanese surrealist/avant-garde painter. His birth name was Yoshio Koga (古賀 亀雄?). His father was the head priest of the Buddhist Zenpuku Temple. He enjoyed painting when he was he child and in 1912 he dropped out of school and moved to Tokyo to study art. He studied at the Pacific Ocean Art Institute and the Japanese Watercolor Painting Institute. He returned to his hometown after the suicide of his housemate in 1915. The following year he entered the Buddhist priesthood and returned to Tokyo. In order to follow in his father’s footstep, he entered university to study theology in 1916. He dropped out in 1918 though, and from this point on would concentrate on painting.

After a slump lasting several years, he won Nika Prize for Burial (also known as Entombment) and From the Upstairs Window in 1922. He became one of the 13 founder members of an avant-garde art group “Action” in the same year. His style changed rapidly, with diverse influences like Paul Klee, Yasunari Kawabata, cubism (Fernand Léger), surrealism, de Chirico.

Main works

Between 1926 and 1929 and painted a series of magical childlike works.

Harue Koga: Fireworks 1927

Sea, Koga’s most famous work first appeared at the 16th Nika Exhibition in 1929. It contains various motifs which Koga had copied from magazines and post cards.

Harue Koga Sea 1929

See: http://www.bigakukai.jp/aesthetics_online/aesthetics_13/text/text13_nagata.pdf

Harue Koga: Innocent Moonlit Night 1929

Other notable Koga photomontage-style works are:

  •  Makeup Out-of-Doors
  • Intellectual Expression Traversing a Real Line


History of photomontage : Laura Lopes Cezar (Spanish)


Oliver Grau Virtual Art: From Illusion to Immersion

Photomontage is the process and the result of making a composite photograph from one or more photographs through:

  • multiple exposures in-camera or on film in the printing process
  • cutting, gluing, rearranging and overlapping elements from one or more photographs into a new image. Sometimes the resulting composite image is photographed so that a final image may appear as a seamless photographic print.
  • digital manipulation: computer software such as Adobe Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, Corel Photopaint, Pixelmator, Paint.NET, or GIMP. These programs make the changes digitally, allowing for faster workflow and more precise results. They also mitigate mistakes by allowing the artist to “undo” errors.
  • “Photocollage” usually refers to large and ambitious works that added typography, brushwork, or even objects stuck to the photomontage.

A composite of related photographs (eg Hockney’s ‘binder’) to extend a view of a single scene or subject would not be labelled as a montage.



Early ‘virtual reality’ shows were made of composited images.

Victorian and Edwardian “combination printing”

The printing of more than one negative on a single piece of printing paper. Fantasy photomontage postcards were popular in the Victorian and Edwardian periods. The first and most famous mid-Victorian photomontage (then called combination printing) was “The Two Ways of Life” (1857) by Oscar Rejlander, followed shortly thereafter by the images of photographer Henry Peach Robinson such as “Fading Away” (1858). These works actively set out to challenge the then-dominant painting and theatrical tableau vivants. The high point of its popularity came during World War I, when photographers in France, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, and Hungary produced a profusion of postcards showing soldiers on one plane and lovers, wives, children, families, or parents on another.


Other methods for combining images are also called photomontage, such as (e.g. O. G. Rejlander, 1857), front-projection and computer montage techniques. Much as a collage is composed of multiple facets, artists also combine montage techniques.

Digital compositing

Some artists are pushing the boundaries of digital image editing to create extremely time-intensive compositions that rival the demands of the traditional arts. The current trend is to create images that combine painting, theatre, illustration, and graphics in a seamless photographic whole.


Photomontage also may be present in the scrapbooking phenomenon, in which family images are pasted into scrapbooks and a collage created along with paper ephemera and decorative items.

Digital art scrapbooking employs a computer to create simple collage designs and captions. The amateur scrapbooker can turn home projects into professional output, such as CDs, DVDs, displays on television, uploads to a website for viewing, or assemblies into one or more books for sharing.

Contemporary photograph editors in magazines now create “paste-ups” digitally.

Photograph manipulation

Photograph manipulation refers to alterations made to an image. Often, the goal of photograph manipulation is to create another ‘realistic’ image. This has led to numerous political and ethical concerns, particularly in journalism.

Photomontage artists


John Heartfield

Georg Grosz

Hannah Höch

Kurt Schwitters

Raoul Hausmann


Salvador Dalí


Harue Koga produced photomontage-style paintings based on images culled from magazines.


El Lissitzky

Alexander Rodchenko

Valentina Kulagina and Gustav Klutsis wife-and-husband team created  propaganda, such as the journal USSR in Construction, for the Soviet government.

Media arts

Rene Acevedo and Adrian Brannan

Latin America

Romare Bearden (1912–1988) produced a  series of black and white “photomontage projections”. His method began with compositions of paper, paint, and photographs put on boards measuring 8½ × 11 inches. Bearden fixed the imagery with an emulsion that he then applied with hand roller. Subsequently, he photographed and enlarged them.

Josep Renau Berenguer (es), Following his exile to Mexico in the late 1930s, Spanish Civil War activist and montage artist compiled his acclaimed, Fata Morgana USA: the American Way of Life, a book of photomontage images highly critical of Americana and North American “consumer culture”.

Lola Alvarez Bravo, experimented with photomontage on life and social issues in Mexican cities.

Grete Stern exiled in Argentina during the late 1940s began to contribute photomontage work on the theme of Sueños (Dreams), as part of a regular psychoanalytical article in the magazine, IdilioGoogle Images

Alfred Gescheidt, American photographer while working primarily in advertising and commercial art in the 1960s and 1970s, used photomontage techniques to create satirical posters and postcards.

David Hockney

Ethical issues

A photomontage may contain elements at once real and imaginary. Combined photographs and digital manipulations may set up a conflict between aesthetics and ethics – for instance, in fake photographs that are presented to the world as real news. For example, in the United States, the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) has set out a Code of Ethics promoting the accuracy of published images, advising that photographers “do not manipulate images … that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.”

Other Wikipedia links

John Heartfield

John Heartfield: Millions Stand Behind Me:  The Meaning of a Hitler Salute. 1932. References both a Nazi salute and the idea of the ‘back hander’, visually and metaphorically connecting him with the anonymous business man or industrialist behind him. Photomontage.
Key articles

John Heartfield Abandoned in a Field by his Parents as a Child


John Heartfield exhibition : “Heartfield’s montages did not—like a well-told joke – simply combine picture and text in a provoking manner. For him, montage was more a symbolic form in which, apart from photos and texts, tonal values, the colors and structure of the material, the precisely calculated organization of the visual plane, and the imaginary visual space devised by means of retouching produced many levels of meaning. ”

Tate Gallery exhibition 2005


John Heartfield (born Helmut Herzfeld; 19 June 1891 – 26 April 1968) was an artist and a pioneer in the use of art as a political weapon.

Heartfield produced the first political photomontages and these became his main form of expression. In 1916, John Heartfield and George Grosz experimented with pasting pictures together, a form of art later named photomontage.

He is best known for the 240 political art photomontages he created from 1930 to 1938 as covers for the Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ, Workers’ Illustrated Newspaper) satirising Adolf Hitler and the Nazis to expose fascism and The Third Reich. AIZ was a popular weekly whose circulation (as large as 500,000 copies at its height) rivaled any magazine in Germany during the nineteen thirties. Most copies of the AIZ were sold at newsstands. His anti-fascist art mocked Hitler, fascism, and The Third Reich on major street corners throughout Berlin where Heartfield lived until he barely escaped assassination by the SS in April, 1933. They were distributed using rotogravure, an engraving process whereby pictures, designs, and words are engraved into the printing plate or printing cylinder.

He was a prolific producer of stage sets and book jackets. He created book jackets for authors such as Upton Sinclair, as well as stage sets for such noted playwrights as Bertolt Brecht and Erwin Piscator.

In 1967, he visited Britain and began preparing a retrospective exhibition of his work, “photomontages”, which was subsequently completed by his widow Gertrud and the Academy of Arts, Berlin, and shown at the ICA in London in 1969.

John Heartfield died on April 26, 1968 in East Berlin, German Democratic Republic. He was buried close to Brecht’s former home.

John Heartfield: Rationalisation is on the March 1927
John Heartfield: The Meaning of Geneva, Where Capital Lives, There Can Be No Peace . Published AIZ November 27th 1932. shows the dove of peace impaled on a blood-soaked bayonet in front of the League of Nations, where the cross of the Swiss flag has morphed into a swastika.
John Heartfield: Goering the Executioner. Published AIZ September 14th 1933
John Heartfield: Swastika
John Heartfield: Blood and Iron 1934
John Heartfield: Hurrah, There’s No Butter Left! Published on the front page of the AIZ in 1935. A parody of the aesthetics of propaganda, the photomontage shows a German family at a dinner table eating a bicycle, where a nearby portrait of Hitler hangs and the wallpaper is emblazoned with swastikas. The baby gnaws on an executioner’s axe, also emblazoned with a swastika, and the dog licks a huge nut and bolt. Below, the title is written in large letters, in addition to a quote by Hermann Göring during food shortage. Translated, the quote reads: “Hooray, the butter is all gone!” Göring said in one Hamburg address: “Iron ore has made the Reich strong. Butter and dripping have, at most, made the people fat”. (Wikipedia)

Tim Marrs

Tim Marrs is a graphic designer and illustrator who is known for his visually striking work which encompasses lots of different techniques. These techniques include drawings, photography, screen printing, Photoshop techniques and more. His technique is one of the most influential styles in modern illustration. He has also increasingly used Flash animation.

His work has a frenzied, hand made and dynamic look. However they are very carefully composed to emphasise this dynamism in terms of colour, composition and style. They have a mix of influences from American pop culture, pulp fiction novels, pop art to polish film posters and surrealism. He incorporates a range of subjects in his work, drawing inspiration from everyday images such as famous buildings, road signs and nature, presented in an abstract and original manner.


MOPAR Initial Test

Central Illustration Gallery

Animation on Bernstein and Andriulli

Link to Flash animation advert for Audi

including Pepsi, Nike, Maxim, Saatchi and Saatchi and Virgin, just to name a few.

Marrs is a BA graduate of Humberside University and Master of Arts ( MA) post grad of Central Saint Martins, London. His broad and flexible style has attracted a wide variety of commissions in advertising, publishing and Graphic design with worldwide clients including, Nike, Brand Jordan, Asics NYC marathon, Reebok, kswiss, Ogilvy and Mather, Saatchi and Saatchi, Geffen records, Publicis & Hal Riney and orion publishing to name but few.

Marrs lives in hastings, east sussex with partner shelley.

See article in Advanved Photoshop.