“New York Rainy Night”
Full disclosure: I’m not a seasoned art person, at all. I get the bulk of my education by wandering around museums with my smart phone and Googling everything that looks cool to me. (I Google a lot of large installations and almost anything contemporary with nudity.) Despite my lack of expertise, I have a prejudicial skepticism of musicians’ visual art. I never got Joni Mitchell’s paintings, and I’m sure I’m just not cosmopolitan enough to wrap my brain around Kim Gordon’s. However, I kind of dig… Tony Bennett’s?
Honestly, when I heard Tony Bennett painted, I was anticipating something a lot more… hotel? Huge fan of his singing; the man is a Sinatra-level chanteur, but that doesn’t mean his art is going to be anything interesting. It turns out Anthony Benedetto (his given name, and the one he signs his canvasses with) studied music and painting at New York’s High School of Industrial Art, before dropping out at 16 to support his working class Italian immigrant family in Queens.
Benedetto’s work covers a lot of subjects, but I think New York City is his strongest suit. There’s a lot of Ashcan School in the brushwork and colors, and some of it has a bit of a Ben Shahn feel, with the compression of the foreground and elastic geometry. Or… something.
“New York Waterfront”
“New York Cityscape 2”
“New York Yellow Cab Study”
More after the jump…