Friday, June 22, 2012

LeRoy Neiman: Post-Career Thoughts

LeRoy Neiman died 20 June 2012. I really haven't thought of him in years except when I happen to notice one of his prints for sale in an art gallery. I suppose I would have been more aware if I'd kept up with Playboy magazine where his work appeared for literally decades. Alas for Playboy, I lost interest at some point in my twenties when it finally sank in that a girl in person is far better than a retouched photo of one in a centerfold.

The Wikipedia entry for Neiman is here and his own web page is here.

As Wikipedia indicates, Neiman had solid art training and the work he produced following his Playboy breakthrough had many fans. His original works and reproduction sell well and at good prices. Fortunate is the artist who can earn a good living from his toil.

A large share of Neiman's work had to do with sports, so I'll show a few examples here.


Sandy Koufax

Orlando Magic


What do I think of his work? I never liked it.

My reaction to any art is personal to the point where I can't pin down from where my prejudices emerged. For what it's worth, in a nutshell, I find Neiman's work too colorful and the application of paint too random (or sloppy?) for my taste.

This is despite underlying drawing being essentially correct. I've stated before and will surely state again that, given good drawing, an artist can get away with quite a lot so far as other aspects of a painting or illustrations are concerned. But for me, Neiman pushed those "other aspects" too far.


Peter said...

His use of bright colors always seemed appropriate for sports-related paintings.

Patricia Bennett Fine Art Painter said...

I think he's great. And relevant. Someone said that I paint like him, and I wish I was as good.