Thursday, June 21, 2012

LeRoy Neiman 1921-2012

Iconic American artist LeRoy Neiman, known for his trademark handlebar mustache and his bright, impressionistic portrayals of the world's top sporting events, died in New York on Wednesday. He was 91.

Neiman was born June 8, 1921, in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of Lydia Sophia Serline and Charles Julius Runquist. He later took the surname of one of his stepfathers, after his biological father abandoned the family, his biography says.
He enlisted in the army in 1942, serving during World War II. Neiman was in the invasion of Normandy and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, according to his publicist Gail Parenteau, later attending Chicago's prestigious School of the Art Institute on the G.I. Bill.
Neiman taught at the Institute for 10 years early in his career before gaining recognition as a contributing artist for Playboy in the 1950s.
The series "Man at His Leisure" appeared in the magazine for 15 years, showing the artist's impressions of sporting events and social activities. Included in the series was the Grand Prix in Monaco, the Beatles in London and the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
Staying true to his style, Neiman's public persona was as almost as colorful as his artwork.
"I guess I created LeRoy Neiman," the artist once said, according to the biography on his website. "Nobody else told me how to do it. Well, I'm a believer in the theory that the artist is as important as his work."

I have read a few articles that say Playboy tarnished his reputation as a serious artist.

I HIGHLY disagree and think he was a defining visionary of Playboy's legendary image and style.
Plus, he looked like he had fun doing it.
Thumb through any vintage issue of Playboy and tell me its not true.

Rest, in peace.

1 comment:

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