LeRoy Neiman (American, 1921 – 2012) was an American Pop Artist of wide popularity and huge economic success. Born in 1921 in the neighborhood of Frog Town in St. Paul, Minnesota, Neiman began his artistic journey at a very young age and continued throughout his life to make works of great energy. His works are defined by bright colors and palpable electricity. This is due to the subjects he chose: his preferred subject matter was sports. Neiman befriended and painted Muhammad Ali (1942 – 2016) on multiple occasions, and was the official Painter of the Olympics beginning in 1972. Athletic competition inspired Neiman, and he expressed the beauty and power of renowned athletes through his paintings and prints.
Neiman’s Style and Practice
LeRoy Neiman’s paintings and prints are visually striking, as he utilizes very bright, near neon colors for his paintings. The splotches of vibrant color, perhaps inspired by the works of early 20th century Fauvists, create an image that captures the viewer’s attention and fills them with excitement. The anticipation at the starting line, the strength of a batter’s swing, and the glory of a victorious boxer all become heightened by Neiman’s unique style. Neiman did not limit himself to sports paintings, however, and made paintings and prints of musical artists like Frank Sinatra (1915 – 1998), actors like Marilyn Monroe (1926 – 1962), and even animals. These works are just as striking as his sports pictures, capturing the indomitable personality of someone like Sinatra or the sheer strength wielded by a silverback gorilla.
Neiman, Master Salesman
While LeRoy Neiman was certainly a great artist, he was perhaps an even better salesman. His personal image, featuring his handlebar mustache with a long cigar, and his over-the-top personality attracted adoring fans. In addition, Neiman made copies of his paintings in print media, which allowed for wide distribution to those same adoring fans. Thus, while Neiman is wildly popular, his art is also accessible to collectors.
Neiman’s Prints at Nest Egg Auctions
Nest Egg Auctions has had the privilege of selling many works of LeRoy Neiman. Two particularly exciting examples are his 24 Hours of Le Mans and The Statue of Liberty. In 24 Hours of Le Mans, Neiman captures the electric energy and excitement of the famous endurance race. Race cars swerve around hairpin turns, trying to gain an edge and pass their competitors, as fans stand by the track, spellbound by the speed and danger. Neiman’s personal style, with bright colors and jagged, expressive forms, is perfectly suited to the anxiety and gravity of the famous race. The Statue of Liberty, on the other hand, is a very different work entirely. The famous sculpture is rendered by Neiman with bright splotches of color throughout, including on Lady Liberty’s robe. This gives the appearance of depth and three-dimensions, while also becoming a textbook example of Pop Art. We look at a famous, instantly recognizable image (the Statue of Liberty) with fresh eyes, and reconsider it anew.
Selling LeRoy Neiman at Nest Egg Auctions
Nest Egg Auctions does exceedingly well with works by LeRoy Neiman, and is always happy to sell more examples of this beloved artist’s work. If you have a work by LeRoy Neiman, please reach out to us! We would be happy to discuss your work with you, and even sell it at auction.
Sell your LeRoy Neiman with NEA!
William Grimes, “LeRoy Neiman Dies at 91; Artist of Bold Life and Bright Canvases“. The New York Times. June 20, 2012.
“LeRoy Neiman“. Wikipedia.