LeRoy Neiman (born June 8, 1927) is an American artist known for his brilliantly colored, semi-abstract paintings and screen prints of athletes and sporting events.
Born in Saint 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 US Army, where he spent four years before returning to St. Paul to finish his high school degree.
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.
Successful years: Playboy Magazine and beyond
LeRoy Neiman is an award winning artist. He became famous largely because of highly exposed sports art and has opened the door for others artists in the field. He is considered by many the premier sports artist in the world challenged only in recent years by younger artists Stephan Holland and Richard T. Slone. 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 bearing that price tag. 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, 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. 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. His works have been displayed in museums, sold at auction, and displayed in galleries and major online distributors. He has begun to join the ranks of artists whose works can command prices over $100,000.
His works are distributed by Hammer Graphics (who have represented him for over 35 years) and Knoedler Publishing Co. of New York and sold by many galleries and dealers.
Neiman, and his wife of 50 years (married in 1957), Janet (nee Bryne), live in New York City at the Hotel des Artistes, their home base for some 33 years. Made up of double-height rooms that overlook 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.
LeRoy Neiman continues his painting as he enters his mid-eighties. Mr. Neiman doesn't like his age to frame who he currently is.