This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with caricature artist Neal Portnoy. In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Portnoy talks about his move (along with his wife, Dorothy) to Las Vegas, working for the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a cartoonist; his decision to go full time as an artist, including portrait illustration; his acceptance by the Las Vegas entertainment community; how “Portnoyed” became a verb; his unique style of drawing caricatures of local and national celebrities using only felt-tip magic markers; his involvement with the Las Vegas Raiders and working with non-profit organizations; and his plans for the future.
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 a process that leaves the subject not only with a tangible caricature, but with a humorous memory of being engaged by an enjoyable entertainer.
As an athlete himself – a former baseball player and current college pitching coach – Portnoy 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. He is also active in philanthropic causes.