MICHELEBarber and painter
MICHELANGELO AT THE SHOP
Michael “big Mike” Saviello is first of all a barber, running a well known barbershop in the East Village, NYC. Yet, the urgency to put on canvas his feelings was too deep to resist. The call came two years ago, when he found an abandoned canvas on a pile of garbage outside the shop. He rescued it and put it in his storage room. Since then during lunch breaks, instead of having a meal, he locks himself in that room and paints while listening to his favourite music – mostly Tony Bennet, another Italian American by the way – and sipping a glass of red wine. He paints people he loves, his wife Harriet is one of the most portrayed, his customers, celebrities dead or alive, and New York City. His paintings are personal tributes to Gustav Klimt and Vincent Van Gogh: they’ve been appreciated on Instagram, where Mike’s profile looks pretty much as an art gallery, and have recently been exhibited for real in a Chelsea gallery in New York.
Mike is still incredulous at what is happening to him. But if goes back to his childhood, his Italian summers and all the art he’s been exposed to he finds out exactly where all this began.
“One of the memories I hold dearest it’s me sitting on the lap of my Grandpa, while we are watching the Italian football matches on TV . If he were still here, I hope he said I’m doing the right thing”. Matt Rizzetta is much more than a football fan: he is among the stakeholders of S.S. Città di Campobasso and Ascoli Calcio 1989 F.C., adding his huge passion for soccer to his deep love for his Italian heritage.
What is it like being an Italian American? A stereotype? Or rather a mix of cultures and traditions? Mike Fiorito, a Newyorker from an Italian family, explores the vivacious universe of the Italian Americans in his books, finding out that there’s much more out there than just a bunch of Guidos.
New York City being struck by Corona virus, Governor Andrew Cuomo asked for help, and he was heard. While doctors, nurses and care providers were quickly running out protections to be safe at work, an Italian American guy in love with fashion made his move. Christian Siriano, a young stylist of the NYC scene, answered the call: “If Governor Cuomo says we need masks, my team will help make some. I have a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help”, he tweeted.
He’s probably one of the most popular persons of this new decade. Doctor Anthony Fauci is not only at the head of the US task force set up to fight COVID-19, he’s one of the top – if not the top – immunologist in the world. So, maybe it’s time to discover a bit more about him.
“Discovering my roots has been essential to understand who I am”. John Turturro was born on Febraury 28th 1957 but this is not the news here. John, son to a man from Puglia and a woman from Sicily, has always been so keen on his Italian heritage that he has let it influence not only his lifestyle but also his work.
Sometimes Hollywood stars shine for real in the sky. Téa Leoni is one of them: a Belgian researcher working at La Silla Observatory Centre in Chile named an asteroid after her.