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All Told: My Art And Life Among Athletes, Playboys, Bunnies, And Provocateurs Hardcover – June 5, 2012

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All Told: My Art And Life Among Athletes, Playboys, Bunnies, And Provocateurs + LeRoy Neiman: Femlin 50th Anniversary Collection
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; First Edition edition (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762778377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762778379
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #647,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"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

From the Inside Flap

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The photos and the artwork in this book are excellent, too.
Matthew G. Sherwin
Considered the world's most recognizable contemporary artist, LeRoy Neiman broke the barrier between fine art and popular art in the 1960s.
Gail Parenteau
I don't want to simply recap the story of Nieman's life here, you will enjoy it more in his own words and pictures.
Tim Crawford

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By FCEtier on June 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
On the morning of December 7, 1963, twenty-two years after Pearl Harbor and exactly two weeks after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, LeRoy Neiman got into a limousine along with Shel Silverstein and Hugh Hefner. Their destination? The Cook County Courthouse, to face obscenity charges.

Elsewhere, the nation still reeled over the death of a President.

In Chicago, the legal system would express its concerns over what individual citizens do at home alone in the dark. It was The City of Chicago vs. Playboy, and Neiman was right there in the middle of it all. It was to become his first courtroom sketches drawn from life. According to Neiman, "The jury returned with their verdict: hung jury. No pun intended."

LeRoy Neiman's autobiography, All Told, is filled with similar stories from numerous and amazingly diverse settings. Readers will be surprised and pleased that this great artist is also a great story teller. From the ridiculous to the sublime, sincere to sensuous, this aficionado of the finer things of life tells his stories in a friendly conversational voice. Some of the best stories involve his encounters with provocateurs and raconteurs including both the rich and famous and those who were neither.

Any artist depends on contacts and exposure to propel his or her career (he was knighted in 1957). Networking and referrals are the lifeblood. Neiman had two of the best contacts an artist could hope to have: Hugh Hefner and Roone Arledge. Neiman's work provided one of the (many) reasons for millions to say that they purchased Playboy for something other than the nude pictorials. ABC Sports put his work on display to 80 million people.
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Format: Hardcover
LeRoy Neiman's memoir, released so shortly before his passing only yesterday, shows us that this was a man who lived life to the fullest especially through his passion for art; he gave so much to us through his outstanding artwork. Just as other reviewers note, Neiman knew so many people and a number of them helped advance his career. On a personal note, I remember being given a Neiman print many years ago from a good friend of mine; it is of a baseball player at bat and every time I look at it the vivid colors still impress me. Neiman was one of few artists who could truly capture the action and tension of a moment in sports using color and thoughtful drawing.

Equally important, LeRoy Neiman writes well; this is an absorbing memoir that captured my attention and held it until the very last page. I couldn't put it down! I was fascinated by Neiman's stories of his relationships, some of them quite useful for his career to advance, including Hugh Hefner; Roone Arledge; Andy Warhol; Muhammad Ali; Frank Sinatra and so many others. The photos and the artwork in this book are excellent, too. I could really see how Neiman fused both fine art and popular art to make stunning works of art that were uniquely his own.

"Describing Neiman as `first and foremost a colorist,' Malcolm Lein wrote, `His tones are vivid, jarring, and at times, gaudily biting; they explode in an effusion of reds, blues, pinks, greens, and yellows; they shimmer and dance across the surface plane, electrified bits of pure energy. ` `Extremely important in my painting is the use of the same color for both positive and negative purposes. . . ,' Neiman explained in a letter to American Artist that appeared in an article by William Caxton Jr. in the April 1961 issue.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Schick on November 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
LeRoy Neiman was a prolific and talented artist with an impressive, "self-made man," life. Yet he constantly bemoans the fact that he is not more recognized by the "serious art" world. Then he says he doesn't care. Then he blames it on his association with Playboy. Book was entertaining enough, and reproductions of his work were enjoyable, but the text was more "short-story worthy" than "book worthy." Not because he didn't live an interesting life, but because he revealed very little of it in this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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.
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