You all know LeRoy Neiman? Correct? Famous artist, king of all sport painting? He unfortunately passed away earlier this year, God rest his soul, and the world lost a great talent. LeRoy spent his life painting athletes from Muhammad Ali, to Jack Nicklaus, in a style that became popular and then quite revered, over the 4 decades or so that LeRoy was at his peak. His art sells for tens of thousands of dollars, and so it should, it’s magnificent! His work is represented at the Smithsonian and many other museums around the USA, and his incredible rise to fame after attending the St Paul school of art and then The Art Institute of Chicago, was warranted and deserved. I take my hat off to him and all he did for sports art here in America. I urge you to take a look at his work, if you can, look closely, look willingly and look at the depth that Neiman tried to portray in all that he did to bring to life our favorite sporting heroes and then, and then I want you to read and look below.
Paul Trevillion. Ever heard of him? Probably not, and yet he is one of the most recognized artists ever to have walked the streets of Great Britain. Paul never went to school, never went to college and has never had any of his work hung in a Smithsonian museum, and yet, he has painted and drawn just as many famous sporting heroes as Neiman, if not more, been involved with just as many famous people as Neiman, if not more, and has just as much talent as Neiman, if not more! When you compare Trevillion to Neiman, what are the differences you immediately see? There are many. Two differing styles, two entirely different perspectives in their subject, but if you look really closely, there is only one of them who is the true Master Of Movement.
Trevillion started to draw at 3 years of age. He used to go to watch the players at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club in London. He would sit and watch them train every day, and wouldn’t go to school. Instead he sat drawing them, every day a new player, and at the tender age of 6, he made his first deal on a piece of art that he’d managed to get in front of the chairman of a candy company. Trevillion went on to draw Winston Churchill, one of the few paintings you will ever see where Churchill is smiling. He has drawn Pele, the worlds most famous soccer player, and so many others, that the list is virtually endless. His career has spanned many different careers, from being a comedian, to becoming a journalist, a golf guru,(he invented the slit handed putting method in 1968 and was known as the putter nutter) and best of all, he is a friend of mine!
I met Paul in 1992. We were introduced by a mutual business acquaintance and the first time he arrived at my office, I opened the door at 4 45 PM and after briefly introducing himself to me, he never stopped talking until I got my first words in around 7 35 PM that same evening. He has a nonstop cacophony of THE most hilarious, true and uplifting stories, spanning a lifetime that has lasted nearly 70 years. Everyone in the UK believes he is older that God, only because he’s been in the limelight since he was a youngster. But it’s his art that took him to fame, and possibly fortune, and his art that I would like to share with you today. I have enclosed some examples of his work for you to look at and I will post more on separate pages after I publish this article.
Paul has a knack of capturing each athlete in just the perfect pose. His ability to demonstrate movement in still art is completely unsurpassed by any other artist alive. These are complimentary words, I know, but having known the man for more than 20 years now, I believe, as do Oscar De La Jolla, Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice, Lee Trevino, Gary Player, and many many more athletes we all know and revere, that his art is momentous in the standards it sets out to achieve, and unsurpassed in its quality and ability to move us, the critic, into believing that Trevillion is unique, and stands out alone, as number one in his profession.