LELAND NEFF

 

 

As a jet-setting fashion photographer, Leland Neff snapped super models and Argentinean gauchos, designer-clad aristocrats and weather-worn rustics. As a painter, his classic compositions in oil have immortalized numerous fine horses and their owners in stately serenity, even as he also creates kinetic, impressionistic tableaus of horse races, hunts and wild ponies on the hoof. After decades of chasing beauties and bests across 5 continents, the intrepid Leland has found a new world on his 140 acre farm in Blenheim, New York. Leland grew up a Navy brat, his naval aviator Commander father was stationed at far flung outposts as Naples, Italy, the Turks and Caicos Islands,, British West Indies.. As a photographer, Leland’s work took him to Nepal, Tahiti, Patagonia, covering 5 continents, his photographs appearing in Vogue, GQ, L’Uomo Vogue, Vanity, Elle, Fortune Magazines, to mention a few. These restless decades honed Neff’s art and eye, but in the past several years, Leland has surrendered to the care of his beloved horses, and has grown comfortable with the rhythm and pace they set, developing his farm as a cultural center, and gallery. After living in the Hamptons for several years caring for his horses in a rented stable as he worked on portrait commissions for the local landed gentry, he came to realize that it was time to create a place of his own, a 140 acre farm in Schoharie Valley, upstate, New York. Purchasing the land in 2004, Neff has weathered storms, gotten to know the land, the town and his neighbors, and secured the barns for his horses. Leland states, “ Through out my childhood and adult life I traveled and never felt rooted. I didn’t have old friends that I’d grown up with. Being a military brat, and then a fashion photographer, left me without the feeling of home or hometown. All of the artists that I looked up to document their own environment, Andrew Wyeth, Monet…, childhood influences. Now I have the hope to reflect the home around me.” With the growing importance of a green world, Leland has found a home in Schoharie Valley, “the bread basket of the revolution,” with the pure spring water, grows his vegetables organically and heats from the wood of the farm. Leland is an international renowned artist and photographer. Leland is a magna cum laude graduate of Pratt Institute. His photos and drawings have appeared in works of publisher: Doubleday, Harcourt Brace & Javanovitch , Scholastic Books. His works have appeared in magazines and newspapers worldwide: The Washington Post, GQ, German Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue, Japanese and South American Fashion magazines, . He has worked extensively on merchandising campaigns for Levi’s, Swatch Watch, Kodak, Kenneth Cole, Burberrys, Izod Lacoste, Barney’s NY, Saks 5th Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman/ Paul Stuart’s, Estee Lauder, Clairol, Revlon, Rebok. Leland’s Journalistic news coverage and his world-wide travel experience is extensive. His intimate knowledge of the French and Spanish languages and cultures have helped him to win assignments around the globe. He has traveled in his career to Narvik, the northernmost city in Norway and to Patagonia, the southernmost region of Argentina, Leland illustrated the best selling book “Dressing to Win, by Robert Pante, was voted “small space ad of the year by Advertising Age, for his Barney’s campaign, received a National Endowment Arts grant for a 12’ x 24” mural in his town of Middleburgh, New York, depicting 9 historical sights, received an AIGA bood design award for his cover of the book, Design Sense, as well and the New York State Barn Grant, where he saved nearly 200 year old barns from falling into rubble and back to their original splendor. Leland is an oft-commissioned portrait painter and photographer and includes in his portfolio portraits of Janet Jackson, The Beach Boys, Brigitte Bardot, Jeremy Irons, Walter Cronkite, Vernon Jordon, Louise Nevelson, Alvin Ailey, Gregory Hines, Isabella Rossellini, Athena Onassis, as well as the illuminaries of the equestrian world. Leland has hand fine art exhibitions in innumerable galleries in Europe, North America and South America, as well as opening the Leland Neff Gallery and School. Leland has been included in an international group of artists and website called The Beautiful People Project, as well as being included in the fashion critic blog, jeffybruce, as one of the fashion icons of the century. Leland work has been describe, “his lightning fast eye to hand coordination, exact draughtmanship, keen color sense, produces exciting, exact, brilliant drawings and paintings. It’s been quoted by the 19th 20th century appraiser by Sotheby’s about Leland’s work, “he’s the best sporting artist since Munnings.” Leland has also been referred to in the press as “the finest equestrian artist practicing today, he brings an unusually fine precision of craftsmanship to the canvas with profound results.”