Names and faces
■ An Italian artist has used his tractor to transform a field near the Italian city of Verona into a giant portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of this week’s Group of 20 summit. Because of its scale, the 443-footwide Putin portrait that artist Dario Gambarin created only can be properly viewed from above. Gambarin created similar land portraits of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton last year during the U.S. presidential race. The artist said he doesn’t measure fields before he starts driving but that he creates his giant images with a good eye and tractor skills. Gambarin limits his creations to the brief period between the harvest of one crop and the planting of the next, meaning Putin’s portrait will be cut down after a few days.
■ Singer-songwriter Warren Zevon’s heroes were writers and classical musicians. That’s clear by the “Werewolves of London” singer’s large and eclectic library of books now for sale. Zevon, who died in 2003, never graduated from high school but read everything, his daughter said. “He loved classic writers, he loved current writers, he loved hanging out with writers, he loved to talk about books,” Ariel Zevon said of her father, who also played with the Rock Bottom Remainders, a band made up of published authors including Stephen King, Dave Barry and Amy Tan. The collection of nearly 1,000 books includes copies signed by authors with personal notes to Zevon. Among the books are collections of W. Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene novels as well as detective fiction. Some are by friends like Hunter S. Thompson, Carl Hiaasen and King, who dedicated a book to Zevon after his death. Others books contain items within their pages from the musician’s life, like a fax from a record company or a restaurant receipt. Zevon’s ex-wife, Crystal Zevon, said she has donated some books to libraries. The remaining books have been sitting in boxes in her garage. The books are being catalogued and will gradually be sold online on eBay. She and her daughter decided to sell them to raise money to support a community retreat house that Crystal Zevon bought in East Barnet, Vt. So far, the 100-year-old house has been used for activist groups, gardening talks and weekly potlucks.