Names and faces

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

■ 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.


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