By Ronnie Garrett
LAS VEGAS — Doing business can be serious work, but at the RV Dealers International Convention & Expo Las Vegas, RV Daily Report found a way to lighten things up and inject some humor as everyone carried out their duties. The online news service, which pledges to deliver all RV industry news, all the time, hired Neal Portnoy to provide caricatures for attendees at the opening reception event held Tuesday evening.
“It was so much fun that we are hoping to bring Neal back for next year’s Con/Expo,” said Terry Cooper, owner of RV Daily Report.
Co-owner and Publisher Evada Cooper agreed saying, “I would like to have my office full of caricatures of the entire RV Daily Report staff. They are just so much fun.”
Portnoy is well known for his illustration work, which 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, his sports subjects have included, Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Peyton Manning, Cam Newton, LeBron James, Pedro Martinez, Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers, Drew Brees, Adrian Peterson, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and numerous others.
His entertainment art features celebrities including Steven Tyler, Bruce Springsteen, Jerry Garcia, Chris Daughtry, Kanye West and an array of other entertainers, celebrities and public figures.
As a caricature artist, Portnoy’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.
Portnoy jokes that he has been called the Rodney Dangerfield of caricature, and that certainly bore out as he captured his subjects at the RV Con/Expo.
The artist is also active in philanthropic causes, and his 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, according to his website, 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 fundraising wing of the Dana Farber Cancer Research Institute.