Part entertainer, part artist, and part athlete, Neal blends these three aspects of himself into a gestalt that defies easy categorization. His illustration work employs a realism that seems impossible to capture using only felt-tip markers-and yet his works are breathtakingly grounded and real. As a portrait artist, Neal's subjects include James Taylor, Paul 'Bear' Bryant, Clint Eastwood, and Pedro Martinez-a sweeping array of entertainers and sports figures.
John Gearan of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette wrote, 'Nobody seems to be able to do what he does with those things.'
As a caricature artist, Neal's works of individuals at corporate events, trade shows, golf outings, weddings, anniversaries, and more are just the final result of an amazing process that leaves the subject not only with a tangible caricature, but with a humorous memory of being engaged by an enjoyable entertainer.
Active in philanthropic causes, Neal's work was commissioned by the Children's Miracle Network to create a multi-action portrait of longtime Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski; sales of this print will help fund a new wing for the Duke Children's Hospital. Neal's illustration of professional football player Doug Flutie, 'Flutie Through the Years,' was created for a print series to raise money for the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. He's also very active with The Jimmy Fund, the fund raising wing of the Dana Farber Cancer Research Institute.
Speaking of sports, Neal has illustrated more than 700 programs and media guide covers for NCAA schools such as Michigan State University, University of Virginia, UCLA, Wake Forest University, University of Washington, and Southern Illinois University, to name a few. In addition, he has created limited edition commemoratives for Michigan State University, Yale University, Holy Cross College, and Colgate University. As an athlete himself-a former baseball player and current college pitching coach-Neal uses his personal experience, love of sports, and artistic talent to bring his subjects to life and to give the illustration an evocative quality that leaves the viewer with a sense of the subject's personality and appeal.
Doug Flutie, soccer legend Walter Zenga, quarterback Drew Bledsoe, WNBA star Rebecca Lobo, former Boston Red Sox outfielder Dwight Evans, and hockey great Ray Bourque rank among the athletes for whom Neal has created limited edition lithographs, earning him the title of 'The Normal Rockwell of Sports Artists.' These treasured, one-of-a-kind works grace the walls of athletes and fans alike, and Neal's mastery of the felt-tip marker as an artistic medium makes his work all the more incredible, with unique textures and colors that capture the moment and the person.
In the corporate world, The Neal Portnoy Caricature Show adds humor and fun to corporate events, trade shows, and more. Corporations such as Citizens Bank, Iron Mountain Incorporated, Allmerica Financial, Reebok, Starter, Top Flite/Spaulding Worldwide, and ESPN bring Neal on board to provide quick sketch caricature art, entertain audiences, and enrich attendees' experiences.
Caricatures, portraits, sports art, live caricature art entertainment, commissioned art-you name it, and Neal does it. His work defies labels-you have to see it for yourself.