LeRoy Neiman

LeRoy Neiman

Painter (1921-2012)

One of the most successful artists of all time, LeRoy Neiman was selected five times to be the official painter of the Olympic Games. He painted (and befriended) Muhammad Ali and was the artist in residence for the New York Jets

Over the course of his career, he made millions, and gave away millions to underprivileged artists.

All this success and generosity did not translate to critical adoration. One detractor explained his career as follows:

[Neiman is famous] because millions of people watch sports programs, read Playboy and will take any amount of glib ab-ex slather so long as it adorns a recognisable and pert pair of jugs

Another summed him up this way:

The archetypical hack…With his ever-present cigar and enormous mustache, he was a cliché of the bon vivant and a bad artist in every way

All frosting, no cake.