"Shooting Gallery, Saturday Evening Post Cover"   Lot no. 4283

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By Constantin Alajalov (American- 1900-1987)

18.25" x 14.50"
Gouache on Board
Signed Lower Left



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Cover of The Saturday Evening Post cover, September 12, 1953


The Post wrote the following commentary on the cover artwork: "If those two experts at shooting are not having a relaxing time shooting, why don't they hire a rowboat and go to sea, thus getting the change that everybody needs on a holiday? It would be even better if they acquired a couple of girls and hired two boats. However, with girls they would probably have more fun in the shooting gallery, and as the subject is now getting confused, let's change it. Probably it will take Alajalov's sailor a long time to teach Miss Fumblefingers how to handle that firearm and, after he succeeds, he can then turn her around and teach her to shoot left-handed. By the way, what do you suppose the fair creature thinks she is aiming at, anyway? The answer is that she knows darn well what she's aiming at. Matrimony." (The Saturday Evening Post, September 12, 1953, p. 3)

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See all original artwork by Constantin Alajalov



Constantin Alajalov sold his first cover to The New Yorker magazine in 1926, and continued to paint a long and colorful series of satirical vignettes of American life for both The New Yorker and The Saturday Evening Post until 1962.

    Alajalov was born in the Russian town of Rostov-on-the-Don. The Revolution came when he was seventeen and a student at the University of Petrograd. He survived this period by working as a government artist, painting huge propaganda pictures and portraits, and in 1921, he made his way to Constantinople, which was an international refugee haven.

    Although largely self-taught as an artist, Alajalov earned a precarious living by sketching portraits in bars or painting sidewalk advertisements for movie houses. He progressed to doing murals for night clubs, taking mostly food as payment. After two years of this, he saved enough to pay his passage to America.

    Once here, Alajalov resumed painting murals, in Russian night clubs, and within three years had sold that first New Yorker cover. For the rest of his career, he continued to give us a candid and humorous look at our foibles.