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Leroy Neiman on Safari Hardcover – March, 1997
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When Neiman died, Christopher Knight, the L.A. Times art critic wrote “Leroy Neiman made art safe for Playboy-reading heterosexuals.” He called Neiman’s paintings “hackneyed” and “lousy,” but doesn’t explain why. In fact, Neiman was gifted enough to teach art at the School of the Chicago Institute of Art.
Like many, I first saw Neiman’s work in Playboy magazine. I’d been to museums and seen traditional academic paintings. But Neiman introduced me to what turned out to be a unique blend of impressionism, expressionism, and a few other isms. Bottom line: his work made me happy. Still does. His joy of life shined through. (He was a genuinely nice person, married to the same wife for decades, a generous philanthropist. A good guy).
Leroy Neiman On Safari is an enjoyable book and a good representation of an artist who brightened the world for a whole lot of people. It’s not my personal favorite, but it’s reasonably priced, as are his Art & Life Style and An American in Paris. His others are relatively pricey. Seems like those who own them hold onto them. So much for the critics!