Big band

LeRoy Neiman • Painting, 2009, 270×390 cm
About the artwork
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Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Portrait, Genre scene
Date of creation: 2009
Size: 270×390 cm
Artwork in collection: Smart and Beautiful Natalya Kandaurova
Artwork in selections: 3 selections

Description of the artwork «Big band»

The childhood of Leroy Neiman has fallen on interesting times. The "roaring twenties", these were the years of Charlie Chaplin and Coco Chanel, Ernest Hemingway and al Capone, prohibition and the great depression, the first commercial radio stations and insulin injections.

In addition, this was the era of the big bands. Harlem Renaissance, the days on which, as he said to Duke Ellington, "everything that didn't swing, didn't make sense".

Leroy Neiman grew up with jazz accompaniment and as an artist – rather jazz musicians he drew is that of boxers.

In the mid-2000s, Neumann had planned to write a big band Lincoln center. And suddenly, unexpectedly, drew Ella Fitzgerald. He drew a picture of Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and 13 other iconic musicians who have no relation to big band Lincoln center. When the painting was finished, it was only two members of the initial plan – Wynton Marsalis and his trumpet.

Instead of a big band Lincoln center Neyman drew a big band of their dreams. We can only guess how would dream-team face all these names, personality, manners and ego on the same stage. Looking at this picture, some jazz aficionados dreamily roll their eyes. Others instinctively pull his head in shoulders – such a concentration of genius, the universe could not tolerate.

Until the death of Leroy Neiman believed "Big band" if not the best then certainly the most beloved of his work. For a long time he did not dare to part with it. In the end, the Fund Leroy Neiman gave the canvas a gift The Museum of American history, Smithsonian institution, along with 2.5 million dollars, earmarked for the development of charitable programs. Now picture hanging in the restaurant on the first floor of the Museum, and the restaurant bears the name of LeRoy Neiman the Jazz Café.

As for the history with the big band, the Lincoln center, it explains a lot about Leroy Neiman and his work. On a hunch, yielding to the impulse, constantly improvising, he was one of the most successful jazz musicians painting. And if his picture was seen by Duke Ellington, he would certainly have noticed that the Neumann has a swing.

Author: Andrew Zimoglyadov