Roberto Lanaro, a philosopher of iron

“Iron is not sculpted, it takes shape. You do not work to remove material but following and releasing its enormous energy “, with these words the sculptor Roberto Lanaro tells of his love for the iron.

Love for metals comes from his family, which has a laboratory in Molvena, his home town, where Roberto began creating functional works, i.e. adding art to everyday objects. He pursued studies at the Academy of Venice and Salzburg. But his life as an artist is steeped in philosophy, from friendship with the philosopher Dino Formaggio has increasingly deepened his reflections between thought and form.

Roberto, how has philosophy influenced you being an artist?

It is enclosed in all my works: their common matrix is the exaltation of opposites, putting together the rational with the irrational. I am attracted to opposites, because their dialogue reflects life.

Geometry is the reason, while the curve and the unexpected are emotions. My works are signs suggesting messages, and are open to different interpretation according to the feelings with which a person views them. This is the beauty of contemporary art!

What feelings do you want to convey through your works?

I made functional sculptures and artistic works such as the door of the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua. In all I try to convey the existing relationships in life, but it is difficult to know ‘why’ I create. The core is just not to know why: for me to create is a necessity.

Roberto, your works are born in your mind but eventually become a ‘great unknown’ …

My creative process followed three phases: the visual arts, the stage interpretation of reality and ‘fracture-twisting’ that began in the ’80s. If at the beginning I created animals, then I started to tear the metal as if to know the soul. With the twists and folds the metal is stabilized in space.

Often out of an initial project will come another work because the metal bends, moves, following instinct. At that moment I realize that what is born is a value, because diversity is a value. If this diversity is imperfection delete it, but if it is wealth accept it.

In life nothing is absolute, and the work is always different from the sketch.

Because iron, what’s unique about this metal?

It transmits force, it has the appeal of being able to look unworked. Iron is not shiny but I leave it rough intentionally. I prefer to work with solid than with empty spaces: you do not see inside empty space, while in the solid substance I can convey a message of truth.

I did not think about beauty until I started to sculpt jewellery to be worn by beautify women. With jewellery I have opened a different world. I realize pieces using all materials, especially those of little value and those ennobling with the exaltation of opposites: beauty and baseness.

I think my sculptures are innovative and represent the uniqueness in the time when I create, there is nothing else the same at that point of time.