With the passing of LeRoy Neiman, the sports world has lost one of its greats. He didn't hold any titles or win any championships. Yet, his work is just as iconic as a Michael Jordan dunk or Babe Ruth's home run trot. LeRoy Neiman is one of the greatest artists to focus largely on sports. It's hard to count the number of iconic LeRoy Neiman sports paintings he created over the decades. Although he leaves behind a tremendous legacy, Neiman will be missed.
From the Olympics to Super Bowl to horse racing's biggest events, Neiman covered them all. His work was even featured in the Rocky movies. Neiman's big break came when a colleague of his, Hugh Hefner, started a magazine called Playboy. The artist got involved early in the process, opening doors to plenty of other opportunities.
LeRoy Neiman sports paintings became a lucrative business. A commercial artist, limited edition prints were churned out regularly. Today, many portraits can be found with both Neiman's autograph and the featured athlete's.
The flamboyant artist went on to become an official artist for the 1960 Winter Olympics. He continued working with the Olympics through the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. Neiman also contributed to many boxing posters and programs over the years. His work was so important for the sport that he was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007.
LeRoy Neiman sports paintings are instantly recognizable for their bright color splashes. They convey the movement of the moment, recreating the energy and emotion.
There are hundreds of LeRoy Neiman sports paintings to marvel at. While originals and prints can be pricey, there are a handful of books that collect his works.
In case you're looking for a little inspiration, here are 15 amazing LeRoy Neiman sports paintings.