"The New Yorker" covers the Olympics

In case you haven’t heard, the Olympics have been going on across the pond in London, where Mitt Romney received a gold medal in the putting-your-foot-in-your-mouth event. Among other things, the games are an opportunity to look at where we are — and where we’ve been — both culturally and artistically. (Don’t believe the Olympics have an impact on design? Check out influential street artist Banksy’s latest work.)

For a good dose of both, check out The New Yorker‘s collection of Olympic-themed covers from its 87 years of existence. The common thread between these selected covers is that they “comment not so much on the Games themselves, but often on where they were held.” Just as Banksy was expressing a political critique of the Olympics, The New Yorker does so in its own way — as in Constantin Alajalov’s cover for the 1936 Berlin Olympics, with the specter of Hitler towering over the event. As the magazine explains, “In this not-too-subtle portrayal, hulking, blond-haired runners are outpaced by a man who embodies the Jewish stereotypes of the time.

My favorite is the above cover for the 2004 Athens Olympics — by one of my favorite designers, Christoph Niemann — parodying ancient-Greek pottery design in a way that “depicts a more modern theme—the thousands of hours of Olympics television coverage.”

Image credit: The New Yorker