Art + Design + Acting + Words
My Story So Far... I was born in Brooklyn, New York, on July 30th, 1959. At a very early age I discovered drawing and learned that I had the knack of capturing people’s likenesses. At the same time I was taking private Saxophone and Clarinet lessons, which eventually led to my debut at Carnegie Hall, as a member of the 'Brooklyn Borough Wide Orchrestra' while attending 'Lefferts Junior High'. Eventually I decided to give up music, for a career as an artist, but that performance at the famed music hall whet my appetite for a life on the stage, So I attended 'The High School of Art & Design' from 1974-1977 where I strived to become the #1 comic book artist in the world. Then I attended 'The School of Visual Arts' in Manhattan for college. While at SVA I had the great pleasure of taking Will Eisner’s amazing sequential comic art class, where I was honored to edit his annual Gallery magazine. It was at SVA that I was first introduced to the joys of oil painting by famed Photorealist artist Don Eddy. It was then that I decided to become an illustrator and I guess grow up. During my senior year, I was thrilled to have my first solo art exhibit at The Bank Leumi on 23rd Street in Manhattan, where 10 of my illustrations were showcased.
And finally writing, while learning the craft of acting, I also discovered my voice in the written word. My first play, an autobiography 'What's Wrong With This Picture? I'm In It!' premiered at TSRC in 2003. It was accepted and then produced at 'the Soho Playhouse' during 'the New York International Fringe Festival' in 2004. Most recently, I also began to really express my political views on Facebook, and In 2011 decided to make it a little more official, by starting a political blog, entitled 'Neilizms'.
Well thats the short version, please check out each section of my site, to learn more. Questions ask.
In 1986 I relocated to Los Angeles, California, where I focused on filmposters. Illustrating and designing assignments, including the promotional one-sheet for the film Open House. While living there, I also got the chance to spend two years Art Directing for the horoscope publication Starscroll. But, New York eventually was calling me home, so I moved back East in 1991, where I then had the honor of becoming a member of 'The Society of Illustrators' and had the honor to exhibit at the famed art museum on several occasions, including my second solo art exhibition.
Since graduating from SVA in 1981, I've attempted to continue my growth as an illustrator, fine artist and portrait painter. In the years since graduating, I’ve had the pleasure of illustrating assignments
for book covers, magazine articles, film and video promotions. Right after graduating from SVA, I had the honor to make the Society of Illustrators 24th Annual exhibition, with the painting 'Looking out',
I also featured this illustration on my first promotional sample which was published in RSVP #7. One
of my favorite assignments at the time was being offered the dream job of illustrating a promotional piece for The 1986 Academy Awards for ABC Television. It featured all of the nominated pictures including E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. As a fan of the movies I could not ask for anything more.
Always a dream of mine, I decided in 1998 to finally try my hand at acting. After spending a year or so, learning 'Meisner', I finally began auditioning in the fall of 2000. Happily on only my second audition I landed the role of Bob Crachet in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and in November of that year, I made my New York City Stage debut at 'the 13th Street Repertory Company'.
Once that play’s run ended, I was offered the chance to perform as 'Arnall' in Israel Horovitz’s ‘LINE’ and while it was running, it became, the longest running show in Off-Off Broadway history. Once I stepped into Arnall's shoes, I didn't want to leave, and got the chance to perform this incrediible, role in over 750 perfromances, more then anyone else in the show's history! I also stepped into the shoes of Fleming and Dolan, two other roles in the play, and for a while alternated all three.
Illustration + Design + Acting + Words
In 1996 my life as a gallery artist began, as I was featured in several exhibitions at 'The Cooper Gallery' in Jersey City. Including the exhibit, ‘More then Fifteen Minutes’. One of the paintings that I creatred for that exhibit, 'Madonna' was published, in 2006, in the anthology, 'Madonna in Art', by Mem Mehmet. Later that same year, that painting along with my 'Marilyn Vs. Madonna' illustration (which was first publshed by Personality Comics) was included in the group exhibition, 'Wonder Woman: Idols in Contemporary Art', at the Katonah Museum of Art, in Katonah, NY.