Tony Bennett at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Bennet feels he is always learning, even at the age of 82. He learns something new from his audience each night, and feels that painting is similar — each painting is a challenge and teaches him something new. Bennett loves the Great Masters, and believes that Rembrandt's Self Portrait doesn't just show who he is, but challenges the viewer to ask themselves who they are. He and Marlow also view masterpieces by Diego Velazquez, Édouard Manet, John Singer Sargent, Auguste Rodin, and an impressionistic work by the little-known artist Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida.
Paul Smith at his studio, London
Smith has been collecting art for decades, and takes Marlow on a tour through pieces selected from his personal collection. His office is stacked to the rafters with pictures, books, magazines, and other inspirational objects. He loves a great variety of work, and some of his favorites include a sketch by David Godbold, figure painter James Lloyd, photographer Marc Quinn, painters Craigie Aitcheson and Conor Harrington, and an irreverent painting by Banksy, a spoof on Van Gogh's Sunflowers, with a vase full of dead blooms.
[L-R: Banksy (Smith) and Chuck Close (Fleming)]
Renée Fleming at the Neue Galerie and Chuck Close's Studio, New York
Fleming views art as a respite from her busy life. Marlow poses that the textures and details in the art that she likes parallels her own love of music. She is drawn towards potraiture, and some of her favorites include the highly decorative and individual Gustav Klimt, and the tortured works of Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele. They also visit the art studio of Chuck Close, where they view a large-scale tapestry portrait of Fleming that Close has had made of her.
What really comes through in each segment of the series is how deeply art has moved each of the people Marlow has met. But you don't have to be an artist to be touched and influenced by these great objects and images. As Tony Bennett says in his episode, "Art is nothing without feeling." Marlow Meets is interesting and inspiring and a reminder that there is great art all around us.