Remembering LeRoy Neiman
BroadwayJoe.tv would like to share with you Joe’s remembrance of the great artist LeRoy Neiman. LeRoy painted multiple works of Joe, including this most famous one below.
I’d like to say a few words about the great LeRoy Neiman. LeRoy was a class man, a true gentleman who was polite and upstanding right from the get-go. He had a way about him that made anyone feel comfortable talking to him. He made you feel special with the way he always understood exactly where you were coming from. Now, we as athletes meet with the media so much that we have a certain way of dealing with them. In LeRoy’s case, everyone appreciated his talents. The colors, the energy, everything about his work was uniquely his, even just his sketches. I don’t know if we’ve ever confused LeRoy’s work for anyone else’s.
LeRoy Neiman’s demeanor was special – he was slick, he was sharp. He kept neat and tidy, always up to date with his attire. We athletes admired the way he carried himself, he was always on time with his lady. He epitomized cool, and he would always feel what you were saying. He was accepted by everyone, so much so that he was even allowed back in the training room – something nobody in the media was ever allowed to do back then.
It was flattering to be the subject of some of his works. When I saw them I was always impressed. The way he captured the emotions was spectacular. Seeing the position, the posture – he really had a way of understanding you. Everyone sees art differently and takes it a certain way, but his was always special to me. I last saw LeRoy Neiman when he was in his mid-eighties. He still had that classy demeanor, that gentlemanly essence about him. He certainly won’t be forgotten, and that art will live on far longer than any of us will. Rest in peace, LeRoy Neiman.