Last Wednesday, the man who many considered to be the greatest living American artist passed away. LeRoy Neiman is known for his bright and colorful expressionist paintings. His most famous works are those of famous athletes and his paintings of the Olympics. His work has been featured around the world and in countless publications. One of Neiman’s biggest fans was Hugh Hefner and he began creating original art for Playboy Magazine in 1954, a publication he continued to work for until his death last week. He has painted thousands of original pieces of artwork. His artwork is a part of collections around the world including the Smithsonian, the Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the State Hermitage Museum in Russia, and Wadham College at Oxford. Neiman worked in a number of mediums including oil, enamel, watercolor, pencil drawings, pastels, serigraphy and some lithographs, and etching.
You can order prints and originals from Neiman’s website (although they are temporarily holding all orders) and purchase his recently published memoir. I have always been a fan of Neiman’s work, in particular his panning of the SS United States (below). Neiman was, in my opinion, the greatest living American artist, and he will be missed for his originality.