Post Artists: The Subtle Satire of Constantin Alajalov

As an artist, Constantin Alajalov painted a gently satirical look at mid-century America.

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Featured Image: Illustration by Constantin Alajalov (©SEPS)
New Yorker cover: Alamy
Alajalov in Palm Beach: Alice de la Mar in the Feb 11, 1952 issue of the Post
Music: Four-Way by William Ross Chernoff’s Nomads
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  1. His stuff is immediately recognizable, and that individuality and implacability of style is usually a mark of great artistic giftedness, as it certainly was in his case.

  2. Thanks for this look into the wonderful work of Constantin Alajalov. I keep feeling fascination for his covers whenever I see them. The Post and The New Yorker both shared (for many years) the commonality of being weekly magazines that used artwork for their covers, having great cartoons, and appealing to ‘smarter’ Americans.

    I love Alajalov’s covers, but can understand why they could be viewed by some as cartoonish or caricature-like compared to (say) Dick Sargent, George Hughes or Kurt Ard’s also of mid-century. The latter three did have a realism that was more in line with the traditional. Alajalov’s also had most of that, but with a whimsical style that was uniquely his.

    The cover of the young couple on the sofa behind (her?) parents is interesting because the parents are drawn more seriously than the couple. I noticed the backgrounds are almost always realistic, so he always knew how to blend the two aspects perfectly.

    (I always pronounced his name as ‘Con-stan-tin A-la-ja-lov’).


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