LeRoy Neiman (born June 8, 1921 – June 20, 2012) was an American artist known for his brilliantly colored, expressionist paintings and screen prints of athletes, musicians, and sporting events.
Neiman was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the son of Lydia Sophia (née Serline) of Braham, Minnesota and Charles Julius Runquist, who were married in 1918, and living at Grasston, Minnesota (Kanabec County) in 1921. He was of Swedish descent. His father deserted his family, and when his mother married his stepfather, John L. Niman (Neiman) in 1926, LeRoy changed to the new surname as well. His mother divorced Neiman about 1935, and married for the third time in about 1940, to Ernst G. Hoelscher, of St. Paul. She died in St. Paul, Minnesota, November 14, 1985, at age 87 years. LeRoy was raised in the Macalester-Groveland, and Frogtown neighborhoods of St. Paul. The home he lived in the longest, from about 1940 to about 1955, still stands at 569 Van Buren Avenue, in St. Paul.
Neiman served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He worked as a cook until the end of the war, when his art skills were recognized and put to use painting sets for Red Cross shows. Following his return in 1946, Neiman studied briefly at the St. Paul School of Art, then at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago on the G.I. Bill. After graduating, Neiman served on the Art Institute faculty for ten years. During the time Neiman was teaching, he was exhibiting art in competitions and winning prizes. In 1954, Neiman began his association with Playboy Magazine. Neiman had met Hugh Hefner while doing freelance fashion illustration for the Carson Pirie Scott department store chain, where Hefner was a writer. Hefner and Playboy art director Art Paul commissioned an illustration for the magazine's fifth edition. Among Neiman's contribution over the next 50 years, he created the Femlin character for the Party Jokes page, and did a feature for 15 years titled "Man at His Leisure," where Neiman would paint illustrations of his travels to exotic locations...
Quotes by LeRoy Neiman
There's no greatest moment in the arts. It's a life, it's a continuity thing. You can't have a great moment because it's spiritual. It's a belief, it's a calling. If you're an artist, doing your own thing on your own, it's while you're doing it that counts. It's a process. If you get too elated, you can get too depressed.
More Quotes by LeRoy Neiman