All Told: My Art and Life Among Athletes, Playboys, Bunnies, and Provocateurs

All Told: My Art and Life Among Athletes, Playboys, Bunnies, and Provocateurs

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by LeRoy Neiman
     
 

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LeRoy Neiman—arguably the world's most recognizable contemporary artist—broke the barrier between fine art and popular art during a career in which he created indelible images that helped define the twentieth century. But it is the life he's lived and the people he's known that make the memoir of this scrappy Depression-era kid who became a swashbuckling

Overview

LeRoy Neiman—arguably the world's most recognizable contemporary artist—broke the barrier between fine art and popular art during a career in which he created indelible images that helped define the twentieth century. But it is the life he's lived and the people he's known that make the memoir of this scrappy Depression-era kid who became a swashbuckling bon vivant with the famous mustache such a marvelous historical canvas. Chronicler and confidant of Muhammad Ali, Neiman also traveled with Sinatra, cavorted with Dalí and Warhol, watched afternoon soaps with Dizzy Gillespie, played in Sly Stallone's Rocky movies, exchanged quips with Nixon, smoked cigars with Castro, and experienced the September 5, 1972,terrorist attacks at the Munich Olympics alongside Peter Jennings, Howard Cosell, and Jim McKay. And then there's his half-century relationship with Hugh Hefner as principle artistic contributor to Playboy since its founding, setting up studios in London and Paris to cover his Playboy beat, "Man at His Leisure," and his creation of the Femlin, the iconic Playboy nymphette. And, still, there's so much more . . .With his life's work, and now in All Told, LeRoy Neiman has captured sports heroes, movie stars, presidents, dishwashers, jet-setters, jockeys, and more than a few Bunnies at the Playboy Mansion—a panoramic record of society like no other.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What intrigued me about LeRoy from the very beginning was that his work was rooted in fine art. He was teaching at the Art Institute when nobody else was blurring the lines between fine art and commercial art like he was. He's always had that distinctive LeRoy style, one that I knew from day one would define the unique nature of Playboy. Trust has been the key to our relationship, and he's the only artist I've worked with for more than fifty years. He's a tremendous talent and a tremendous human being." —Hugh Hefner "It was not unusual for me to look up from a workout or a sparring session to see LeRoy perched on a chair, off to the side, studying my movements while sketching in quick strokes. With his bold colors and distinctive artistic style, LeRoy's art and sketches captured my attention and imagination. He made me look as colorful and pretty on paper as I was in person—now that's talent!" —Muhammad Ali "LeRoy Neiman's love of jazz is real. His series of stunning poster art, depicting Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Gerry Mulligan, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, and Billie Holiday contributed immensely to the success that is The Newport Jazz Festival. LeRoy donated this work to us in the years between 1964 and 2004. He would accept no compensation, which we couldn't have afforded any way. His work and his story, All Told, are priceless." —George Wein, jazz impresario, founder of The Newport Jazz Festival "Pop culture's court painter, LeRoy Neiman, turns 91, an occasion he'll celebrate by publishing an often amusing autobiography…" —The New York Times Style magazine
Kirkus Reviews
The nonagenarian artist reviews his long career as one of the country's most popular and public painters. Neiman's most interesting pages deal with the earliest days of his life: family history, discovery of his ability, early fondness for boxers and poolrooms, days in the military. He landed at Normandy only days after D-Day. Following some formal study after the war, he headed for Chicago and a future that would one day glow as brightly as one of his signature paintings. Early on, he fell under the influence (and payroll) of Playboy's Hugh Hefner, and he writes with an odd cagey frankness about the parties in Hefner's mansion. He tells of his marriage to a woman whose capacity for tolerance seems mythical then proceeds into the less interesting final two-thirds of the volume, which often seem more like a chronicle of his adventures with celebrities from the worlds of sport, Hollywood, Vegas, politics and even the Mob. He declares repeatedly that he doesn't really care that the professional art world shunned him at times--especially when he became a fixture on The Wide World of Sports and other shows. But he mentions this so many times that his claim rings hollow. Occasionally he offers something like cultural criticism ("We're a country that craves stars"), and he reproduces a generous, colorful assortment of his work throughout the decades--so once again we see those familiar, iconic images of Muhammad Ali, Bobby Fischer, Mickey Mantle and so many others. Although Neiman's words are not often extraordinary, his images caught and characterized an era.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780762788378
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
09/17/2013
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,237,463
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

LeRoy Neiman married fine art to popular art with his brilliantly colored, energetic depictions of sports, celebrities, America at play, life on safari, and locations from the White House lawn to a nudist colony on the Adriatic. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, he left high school in 1942 to join the U.S. Army, returning four years later to obtain his high school degree. He then studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (where he taught for ten years), the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois. Early in the 1950s he did fashion illustration for the department store of Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co., where he met Playboy founder Hugh Hefner in 1953. He lives in New York City, overlooking Central Park. His prints are eagerly collected, fetching impressive sums. He has published more than a dozen books of his collected work, has won numerous awards, and is included in the fine art collections of the nation's top museums.

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All Told: My Art and Life Among Athletes, Playboys, Bunnies, and Provocateurs 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
In celebration of his 91st birthday on June 8, 2012 Lyons Press has publish a lavishly illustrated autobiography of LeRoy Nieman. Appropriately titled ALL TOLD: MY ART AND LIFE AMONG ATHLETES, PLAYBOYS, BUNNIES, AND PROVOCATEURS the book begins at his beginning in 1919 told with the raucous humor that vibrates in his art, The journey through his life to date includes his associations with Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Dizzy Gillespie, Sylvester Stallone, Richard Nixon, Fidel Castro, Peter Jennings, Howard Cosell, Jim McKay and Hugh Heffner. A wild range of consorts? Well, that is how Nieman lived his life. His art, which is generously reproduced in this volume, is instantly recognizable for its splashy color and expressionistic style. His innumerable paintings of sports events including the Olympics, images of such places as the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, Leonard Bernstein conducting, and presidents and athletes, personalities from the arts - all pepper the stories he tells that accompany these images. And the stories and events of his life are no less colorful than his art. One aspect of Nieman that too few people recognize is that his popular works (and the vast number of prints of his works that are for sale in nearly every airport and mall galleries through out the world) are only a part of his output. Included here are his very fine drawings of the human form, such as his truly significant Conte crayon drawing '18th Century Nudes after Boucher, 1956' ad his own possessions such as the Crucifixion (reproduced far too small to appreciate here). For all the wild and explosive color of his popular works there are almost an equal number of fine sketches and small works in pen and ink that reveal his training as a fine artist. Whether the reader will find the art of LeRoy Nieman mundane and non-sophisticated at the start of this book, by book's end the viewer will have a different perspective on the works of LeRoy Nieman. He may not go down as a great painter but he will always be known as a famous populist who seems to paint as much for his public as he does for his muse. Grady Harp
Anonymous More than 1 year ago