Ali, artist as brand, artwork, Begin, Carter, digital media, dogs, drawing, Hugh Hefner, illustration, illustrator, illustrators journal, innovation, Kennedy, levinland, Levinland studio, lon levin, nude sketch, Playboy, playmates, Sadat, Sinatra, this week in digital media on blogtalk radio
Besides Thomas Kinkade, no other America Artist has achieved the success of Leroy Neiman in the modern era. Is he a fine artist? or is he a marketing sensation? Certainly his affiliation with Hugh Hefner and all the famous people he’s painted has helped him to rise above all other modern artist when it comes to money and fame. But is that the measure of success? The fact is Neiman is a master painter and draftsman. His command of his tools and techniques is evident and he should not be discounted in the fine art world because of his commercialism. The video shown here shows a humble and down-to-earth Neiman who simply loves to do what he does and the savvy he’s shown in self-marketing is something to be admired.
LeRoy Neiman is arguably America’s most popular living artist. Known for his brilliantly colored semi-abstract paintings of sporting events and leisure activities, Neiman has perfected an energetic style that seems to explode with dramatic intensity.
His unique talents have made his work so admired that he has brought art into the lives of millions of Americans. Neiman served in the U.S. Army during WWII. Following his return in 1946, Neiman studied at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago on the G.I. Bill and then served on the faculty for ten years. During the time Neiman was teaching, he was exhibiting art in competitions and winning prizes. In 1954, Neiman began his association with Playboy Magazine. Since 1960, he has traveled the world observing and painting leisure life, social activities and athletic competitions including the Olympics, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Kentucky Derby, championship boxing, PGA and The Masters golf tournament, The Ryder Cup, the World Equestrian Games, Wimbledon and other Grand Slam competitions, as well as night life, entertainment, jazz and the world of casino gambling.
Neiman has sponsored and supported several organizations from coast to coast that foster art activities for underprivileged children such as The LeRoy Neiman Center for Youth in San Francisco and the Arts Horizons LeRoy Neiman Art Center in Harlem. He also has established the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies at Columbia University in New York and scholarships at his Alma Mater, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
He has received five honorary doctorates and numerous awards, a recent Lifetime achievement award from the University of Southern California, an induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and proclamations and citations. Most recently he has received The Order of Lincoln on the 200th birthday celebration of Abraham Lincoln given by The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. He has authored twelve books of his art. A documentary on his jazz painting, “The Big Band,” had its’ world premiere in Los Angeles in February, 2009.
Neiman produces about six different serigraph subjects a year, generally priced from $3,000 to $6,000 each. Gross annual sales of new serigraphs alone top $10 million. Originals can sell for up to $500,000 for works such as “Stretch Stampede,” a mammoth 1975 oil painting of the Kentucky Derby. In addition to being a renowned sports artist, Neiman has created many works from his experience on safari, including “Portrait of a Black Panther,” “Portrait of the Elephant,” “Resting Lion,” and “Resting Tiger.” Some of his other subjects include sailing, cuisine, golf, boxing, horses, celebrities, famous locations, and America at play. Much of his work has been done for Playboy Magazine, for which he still illustrates monthly.
Neiman works in oil, enamel, watercolor, pencil drawings, pastels, serigraphy and some lithographs and etching. 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. His works have been displayed in museums, sold at auctions, and displayed in galleries and online distributors.
His work is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian, the Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the State Hermitage Museum in Russia, Wadham College at Oxford and in museums and art galleries the world over, as well as in private and corporate collections.