|LeRoy Neiman (born Leroy Leslie Runquist, June 8, 1921 – June 20, 2012) is an American artist known for his brilliantly colored, semi-abstract paintings and screen prints of athletes and sporting events.
Born on June 8, 1922 in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was abandoned by his father at an early age, Neiman and his mother, Lydia, were forced to fend for themselves. Neiman distinguished himself by drawing.
In 1942 Neiman left high-school to enlist in the U.S. Army where he spent four years before returning to St. Paul to finish his high-school degree.
In addition to being an internationally renowned sports artist, Neiman has created many works from his experience on safari including a series of animal portraits that are some of his most sought-after pieces including "Portrait of the Lion," "Portrait of the Elephant," and "Portrait of the Tiger." Some of his other subjects include sailing, cuisine, golf, boxing, horses, celebrities and famous locations. He is one of the most successful contemporary illustrators.
Neiman studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (where he also later taught), the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois. LeRoy Neiman continues his painting as he enters his mid 80's.
Neiman, and his wife Janet live in New York City at the Hotel des Artistes, their home base for some 33 years. Made up of double-height rooms that over look Central Park, this exclusive New York City landmark was originally intended for painters. Norman Rockwell once lived here, yet celebrities such as Rudolph Valentino, Noel Coward and ex-mayor John Lindsay have also called it home. Neiman's painting studio, offices, and home are on one floor, his archives on another, and his penthouse at the top.
He became well known for creating images depicting "America at Play". He focused on this type of work during his tenure at Playboy Magazine, for which he still illustrates monthly. He is probably the most popular sports artist in the world, followed only by younger artists Stephan Holland and Richard T. Slone.
His studio is in New York City, where he works in oil, enamel, watercolor, pencil drawings, pastels, serigraphy and some lithographs and etching. In 2007, he was presented with the Sport Artist of the Year Award from the United States Sports Academy. Neiman is listed in Art Collector's Almanac, Who's Who in the East, Who's Who in American Art, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World.
LeRoy Neiman's style explodes with the dramatic intensity of Abstract Expressionist brush strokes, strokes that pick out action that is strikingly accurate. This unique combination is so appealing that Neiman has brought art into the lives of more people than most post-war American artists put together. He has travelled and exhibited worldwide, from Moscow to Tokyo to Caracas. He has many published books, and has been honored with many awards for his art. He has been the official artist for ABC Television at the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games and the CBS artist at the 1978 Superbowl. Neiman's subject matter is broad and universal and his work is exhibited in museums and galleries around the world as well as in private and corporate collections.
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