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LeRoy Neiman's knockout sketches of Rocky on show at legendary Brooklyn gym

Round XV, Rocky IV (1985), LeRoy Neiman courtesy LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation

LeRoy Neiman’s sketches pack a punch—quite literally. The late US artist—known for his kitsch expressionistic paintings of bruised boxers dodging jabs or throwing hooks—spent hours on the set of the Rocky films starring Sylvester Stallone, sketching the stars and the scenes from this popular cinematic tale of triumph over adversity. Neiman’s action-packed, rather bloody drawings of the Rocky saga are on show in Gleason’s of Brooklyn, a legendary boxing gym (Age Before Beauty, until 10 January). Fans of Stallone’s sporting hero can also browse the works online, from violent fight scenes (Face Hit One, Rocky II, 1980) to majestic portrayals of Mr Stallone himself (Sly as Rocky in Rocky IV, May 1 1985). In his memoir, Neiman even cites Géricault’s ​Raft of the Medusa as inspiration for his image of Stallone standing over Ivan Drago, the Soviet bone-crusher played by Dolph Lundgren, at the end of ​Rocky IV​. True fans of Neiman will already be aware of course that the late illustrator had a cameo role in Rocky II as an artist sketching fighters sparring at a gym. Knockout stuff.