Vincent Pidone

Untitled Moire Drawing, 2019, ink on paper, app. 16 x 12 image on paper 26 x 18 inches

Pidone: American Names and American Bread


My father, also named Vincent, was always called Jimmy. I was an adult before I discovered that my uncle Sam was really named Salvatore. My Italian grandparents, and their many siblings, would not teach my father’s generation Italian. They would be christened with Italian names, but be given American nicknames. All this in order to be assimilated as quickly as possible.


It worked. I’m an American. So was my father and his generation, but some cultural carryover was unavoidable.


“Bread” meant Italian bread. There was pasta of some sort for dinner every week. That other kids thought bread meant Wonder Bread, or that their mothers didn’t spend a whole day cooking spaghetti sauce, wouldn’t register with me for years, and it would be decades before I would realize that it was a cultural divide rather than a quirk of their particular families.


Two years ago, friends had an apartment in Florence for a semester and said I could come stay for a few weeks. After decades of telling people that I had no interest in visiting Italy, I’ve come back to pester my friends about the possibility of getting a time-share apartment in Florence.

You can’t get a bad meal. You can’t get a bad cup of coffee. You can’t get ice. OK, so it falls just short of heaven. And they’ve set a standard for tomatoes that probably can’t be approximated here.


I’m going to make a grilled cheese for dinner, with pesto.

Untitled Moire Drawings, 2019, ink on paper, app. 16 x 12 image on paper 26 x 18 inches

Untitled Moire Drawings, 2019, ink on paper, app. 16 x 12 image on paper 26 x 18 inches

Vincent Pidone