Italian Artist Mows Putin's Face Into 82,000 Feet of Cropland

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A giant portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared in a field in Castagnaro, near the northern Italian city of Verona on Monday, July 3, 2017. Alongside was the caption "G20 2017" and the signature of Italian land-artist Dario Gambarin.
Credit: Dario Gambarin/AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been honored with a giant portrait drawn on farmland by an Italian artist who said Wednesday he wanted to inspire Putin and other world leaders to "find solutions" to the world's problems.

Putin is one of the attendees at Friday and Saturday's Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, where he is scheduled to have a hotly-anticipated meeting with US President Donald Trump, the first face-to-face between the two leaders. 

For the occasion, Dario Gambarin ploughed a 25,000 square-meter (82,020 square-feet) plot of family land in Castagnaro, near the north-eastern town of Verona, drawing lines with a tractor to make a 135-meter wide portrait of the Russian president. 

"I'm not a politics man, but what I wanted to say as an artist is that these people at the G20 have the strength and power to resolve issues. They should try to be diplomatic and find solutions," Gambarin told dpa.

The 58-year-old artist has done at least 20 other pieces of what he calls 'land art' in the past, including portraits of Trump, his defeated rival Hillary Clinton, former US President Donald Trump, Mickey Mouse and Italian footballer Mario Balotelli.

The portraits take a few hours and are made on harvested land. When the time comes to plant the next crop, they disappear, usually within days. In the case of Putin, the portrait may remain "for two or three weeks," Gambarin said.

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