It's not the act of arrogance to draw, it's humbling - you must use your God-given talent. And of all the people I sketch, in most cases I feel I have to measure up to the subject.
Ive zeroed in on what you would call action and excellence... Everybody who does anything to try to succeed has to give the best of themselves, and art has made me pull the best out of myself.
But 'Playboy' was liberating. I was drawn to it and went for it full throttle.
The people who love my paintings, that respond to them the most, they're spectators, they're not viewers.
I draw all the time. Drawing is my backbone. I don't think a painter has to be able to draw, I just think that if you draw, you better draw well.
You know what I like about San Francisco? The women are beautiful, fashionable and smart. San Francisco is one of the only cities I like to visit. I love New York and Chicago - I studied there, and L.A. has the same people as New York.
The big shock of my life was Abstract Expressionism - Pollock, de Kooning, those guys. It changed my work. I was an academically trained student, and suddenly you could pour paint, smear it on, broom it on!
I have always said to young artists that scholastic training and the studying of art history are crucial to fully developing as an artist.
You can't take yourself too seriously.
Boxing is my real passion. I can go to ballet, theatre, movies, or other sporting events... and nothing is like the fights to me. I'm excited by the visual beauty of it. A boxer can look so spectacular by doing a good job.
I don't know if I'm an impressionist or an expressionist. You can call me an American first... I've been labeled doing neimanism, so that's what it is, I guess.
I played an artist in a comedy called 'Rooster.' It was a zany film by Glen Larson, a friend who produced several successful television series including 'Magnum PI.
I love the passion you go through while you're creating.
I can easily ignore my detractors and feel the people who respond favorably.
The businessman says 'If I don't do it first, somebody else will.' The artist says 'If I don't do it first, nobody else will.'
Throughout my life, cigars have played different roles for me. They fit easily and well in the various stages and experiences Ive had -- like a companion, almost. If youve smoked a long time, as I have, they become part of you.
Imagination comes of not having things.
No, I never had any dreams. The process of art is a dream in itself. The artist just doesn't... you work out something. It's yours. You don't have to go to sleep to do that. You do that on the canvas.
Eating is one of the great beauties in life. One of my favorite recreations... eating with friends, the service, the ambience.
I've met and sketched most of the great athletes from the past five decades and their movement, grace and energy have kept me captivated over the years. That's what the ancient Greeks first saw and that's what caught my interest.
I hold doors open for all the women. Men can open the doors for themselves.
I always stayed in tune with my own ambitions and attitudes and I'm still my intractable old self, for better or worse.
I guess I created LeRoy Neiman. Nobody else told me how to do it. Well, I'm a believer in the theory that the artist is as important as his work.
I've got the public. I don't care about the critics. I did at one time. I don't any more. I did when I needed compliments. But if you get a lot of compliments, you don't need a critic to tell you, 'This should be done another way.'
It's a nice feeling to go out in the world and look for excellence - the best in man. My subject is very valid. It's about people, and about life.
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