Artist LeRoy Neiman dead at 91

June 21, 2012 at 7:36 PM
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NEW YORK, June 21 (UPI) -- Artist LeRoy Neiman, known for documenting sports events and public life through his sketches and paintings, has died in New York, his family said. He was 91.

The New York Times reported his death Thursday but did not say what the exact cause of it was.

Neiman was known for chronicling boxing matches, Super Bowl games, horse races and Olympic competitions. His subjects ranged from chess icons Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky to filmmaker Federico Fellini to members of the Kirov Ballet. His work frequently appeared in Playboy magazine, as well as on the walls of museums.

The Times said although Neiman's wildly popular work was largely ignored or dismissed by serious critics, he didn't seem to mind.

"Maybe the critics are right," Neiman told American Artist magazine in 1995. "But what am I supposed to do about it -- stop painting, change my work completely? I go back into the studio, and there I am at the easel again. I enjoy what I'm doing and feel good working. Other thoughts are just crowded out."

Among his books were "LeRoy Neiman: Art and Life Style," "Horses," "Winners: My Thirty Years in Sports," "Big-Time Golf," "LeRoy Neiman on Safari" and "Leroy Neiman: Five Decades." His memoir, "All Told: My Art and Life Among Athletes, Playboys, Bunnies and Provocateurs," was published this month.

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