He had started painting his body as an adult, when he was 56, to overcome the despair of some terrible grief. On the left arm, Angelo Piovano, the former Turin worker who died last night at the age of 85, has become famous as the most tattooed man in the world, he had the name of his beloved mother drawn and on the other the face of his dog Florinda. Since that day, the ink had invaded every inch of his skin, “including the private parts” as he himself underlined, opening the doors of the show and a new life. He had worked “for thirty years in the factory in anonymity and mediocrity,” he says in one of his books Maurizio Costanzo who, welcoming him several times in his television lounge, had contributed to transforming Piovano into a character known to the general public.
To transform himself into a Maori of our house he had invested the millions of that liquidation earned by working hard as a model worker at Pirelli. Upon reaching retirement, it had taken him nearly ten years to transform his person into a great work of art. «When I left my job – he said in a dated interview on Rai 3 -, I wanted to change my life and I threw away the blue overalls and regained my freedom. Because when one works he is not a free person, he is linked to production ». In the nineties – thanks to the television appearances such as the famous interview with Modern Times, the talk show of a young Daria Bignardi -, Piovano became a symbol of a Turin that, from being closed and working, was transforming into that amusement park city celebrated by Olympiad.
With his colorful kilts and leather jackets, it was impossible not to see him when he was strolling under the arcades of via Po and in the Palazzo Nuovo area, in the heart of the center. The relationship with the city had not always been easy. Admired (and understood) by the youngest, criticized and viewed with suspicion by the older ones. But behind those tattoos hid a very sweet person, a lover of poetry and with a lifestyle far from that rock and roll that so many approached him. «The most tattooed man in the world» loved the city of which he was a sort of ambassador, thanks to his very evident Piedmontese accent, in the biggest festivals and reviews dedicated to tattooing.
“Angelo passed away last night, now the universe will be even more colorful”, the last greeting comes from his own facebook page, as his nephew Marco Bruno wrote. Dozens of posts and comments of remembrance and condolence, including that of Mayor Chiara Appendino: “Hello Angelo, we will miss you”.
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June 5, 2021 | 10:07
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