Note on Art

Dublin Core

Title

Note on Art

Subject

A personal note from LeRoy Neiman on art.

Description

This note from LeRoy Neiman provides an anecdotal account of the artist's reference to Pope John Paul II. Neiman spotted the Pope after returning to New York from a film shoot in the Riviera in 1981. Internalizing this encounter, the artist included the figure in a urban panorama, flying between the spires of Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown. Years later, Neiman removed the Pope from the work, painting him out. The note was most likely made in preparation for the artist's memoir, All Told. 

Creator

LeRoy Neiman

Source

LeRoy Neiman Foundation

Publisher

LeRoy Neiman Foundation

Date

c. 1990-2011

Contributor

LeRoy Neiman

Rights

Property of the LeRoy Neiman Foundation; please consult the organization's archivist for further details.

Relation

Notes

Format

Image/jpeg

Language

English

Type

Document

Identifier

LN_Notes_2435_01; LN_Notes_2435_02

Coverage

New York (N.Y.) New York

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

INSERT
[In] 1979 After a relaxed lunch at 21 film maker Ken Zaren and I were short cutting across central park on foot headed for The West Side [///]
We (having) recently returned from a shoot on the Riviera
were not on the lookout for anything special let along something that would provide inspiration. But there is no assurance in New York that something unexpected will not turn up.
It was a balmy day as we strode.
(along a path running from one of the curving streets that snake through the park) Pausing for a light around a bend came
2 Bike cops followed by an open [convertible] then a sedan. The short convoy glided to a halt at the same traffic signal. There seated in the first car in all white creating almost radiating light – Pope Paul II looking straight at us. Frozen in our tracks I swear that as the light turned green and they purred away the Pope actually looked back over his shoulders.
Ken a devout Catholic was enthralled as was I. We had just communicated at close range what amounted to what was like a private audience with Pope Paul III.
Along back in my studio the surprise encounter struck. I could not shake the brief memory NOR DID I TRY. I was in the process of painting a panoramic view of Manhattan result of sketches made from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, a horizontal composition starting at 42nd ST at the lower and from the Library and Bryant Park up 5th Ave beyond Central Park to Harlem,
Flanked by the rivers on either side of the island. /

Since the Pope had flown from Rome to Kenney on a TWA commercial flight (A FIRST) that brought about a travel with THE Angles promotion he belongs
IN THE PICTURE HIS ITINERARY STARTED WITH A sensational New York visit
So I decided I’d put him in the painting.
He’d be flying over midtown Manhattan
So I had him floating in the air above the skyscrapers like a Thanksgiving day parade float. It worked.
THE POPE AS A FLOTE [sic]. I placed him airborn [sic] buoyantly SUSPENDED OVER Midtown the spires of St Patricks back to his left. Vulnerable, sensational object of public attention that he was it all seemed
so logical

Original Format

Pencil, permanent marker, and colored pencil on paper.

Files

LN_Notes_2435_01.jpg
LN_Notes_2435_02.jpg

Citation

LeRoy Neiman , “Note on Art,” LeRoy Neiman Foundation, accessed October 28, 2021, https://leroyneimanfoundation.omeka.net/items/show/229.