LeRoy Neiman, Portrait of a Black Panther, 2004, Signed, Serigraph, Edition 259/450, 24 1/2" x 25" Sheet Size
LeRoy Neiman was an American painter and printer whose kinetic, brightly-colored works of art illustrated many of the key figures and events in American sports and society throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Born on June 8th, 1921 in St. Paul, Minnesota, Neiman worked as a cook in the United States Army before he went to work producing sketches and paintings for a feature entitled "Man at His Leisure" that ran in Playboy magazine for the next 15 years. The column featured Neiman's impressions of sporting events, celebrities, and social occasions around the world, including the running of the bulls in Spain, the Beatles on Carnaby Street in London, and the Cannes Film Festival. His vivid and energetic painting style‚Äîdeveloped from experimenting with flowing daubs of quick-drying house paint‚Äîwas well-suited to capturing single frames of fast-moving action, and he came to be known as an "American Impressionist." Neiman covered seminal events such as the 1972 chess match between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer, and was commissioned to be filmed sketching on live television at five consecutive Olympic Games and numerous Super Bowls. A prolific artist of boundless creative energy, Neiman also produced portraits of the likes of Muhammad Ali, Joe Namath, Leonard Bernstein, John Lennon, and Sylvester Stallone. He also published a number of books on athletics, art, and travel; his memoir, "All Told: My Life Among Athletes, Playboys, Bunnies, and Provocateurs" was published in 2012, the same year as his death. An artist whose popularity rivaled American icons such as Norman Rockwell and Andrew Wyeth, LeRoy Neiman proved to be a brilliant interpreter of feats and figures around the world whose work still carries its expressive, emotional charge today.