ANTHONY BENEDETTO: THE ART OF TONY BENNETT
Whether he is performing as Tony Bennett or painting as Anthony Benedetto, he offers to the recipient of his artistry, a bridge to his personal values and views of the world. He puts his emotions into his work and with that creates a strong connection that is the necessary result of any successful artistic endeavor.
Tony Bennett is an artist. He is best known as a revered performer, the recipient of accolades by his peers and honors by his profession. Tony Bennett is also a visual artist, painting under his family name of Benedetto. The painter is an alter ego to the performer, living out a passion that is personal and introspective. Ever since Anthony Benedetto, at the age of five, began drawing chalk pictures on the sidewalks of his hometown in Astoria, Queens he has had a commitment to art that has flourished. With his standing over five decades as one of the premier entertainers in the world, he finds time to paint every day, sketching the view from the windows of his hotel suite or out in the countrysides to which he travels.
Tony Bennett has three original paintings as part of the permanent collection at the prestigious Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. The United Nations commissioned his artwork on two occasions including their 50th Anniversary. Bennett’s painting honoring good friend David Hockney, “Homage to Hockney,” is on permanent display at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio and his original oil painting, “Boy on Sailboat, Sydney Bay,” is part of the permanent collection at the prestigious National Arts Club in Gramercy Park in Manhattan. Additionally, his painting, “USS Monitor “Battle of Hampton Roads,” is on permanent display at The Mariners Museum in Newport, News, Virginia. Bennett was also commissioned to be the official artist of the 2001 Kentucky Derby and created two original watercolors for this historic racing event. Bennett’s portrait of the late singer Louis Prima was featured on the official commemorative poster of the 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Tony Bennett began formal training as an art student at the School of Industrial Arts (now known as the School of Art and Design) in Manhattan and continued his studies with private studios and teachers throughout the years. A self-proclaimed “museum freak,” he visits museums and galleries all over the world, especially during his extensive concert tours. As an artist of both worldly and familiar subjects, Tony Bennett has experimented with a wide range of subjects, has studied the intricacies of various styles, and has learned from the great masters. His body of work reflects an awareness of the history of art and the artist’s continuing passion for enjoying and creating that which is universally recognized as beautiful. Common to all his work, be it the oils, watercolors or sketches, is his desire to communicate. His work as a painter has been featured in several art publications including a cover story in ART AND ANTIQUES, ARTNEWS, INFORMART,, SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE, THE ARTIST’S MAGAZINE, and INTERNATIONAL ARTIST magazine. His artwork has been featured on national television shows including, THE TODAY SHOW, THE TONIGHT SHOW, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and countless others. He has lectured on art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Bennett has authored two books devoted to his paintings, TONY BENNETT IN THE STUDIO: A Life of Art and Music and TONY BENNETT: WHAT MY HEART HAS SEEN. His portrait of Abraham Lincoln appears as the cover art of the book, “Lincoln on Democracy,” 2018 marked the 25th Anniversary of Tony Bennett’s participation in the American Cancer Society’s holiday card series in which he has contributed an original image for a card the sales of which raise funding for cancer research.
Among the many owners of original Benedettos’ around the world are: Lady Gaga, President Bill Clinton, the late Cary Grant, Carol Burnett, Whoopi Goldberg, the late Frank Sinatra, Oprah Winfrey, Robert DeNiro, Katie Couric and contemporary artist the late Robert Rauschenberg.
Please visit the art gallery of his original works while visiting www.tonybennett.com
Photo credit: (Mark Seliger)