Art and Wine: let's toast to life together with Valentino Moro

Elegance is about taking off, it is simplicity and lightness coming from shapes and proportions

“We stare at our phone screens so much that we don’t even notice the beauty we are surrounded by anymore”, says Valentino Moro from his beautiful lab in Miane (TV).

Vines that climb, branches that twirl, light leaves that seem to be breaking free in the air at the first gust of wind. But they'll never fall because they're made of iron.

Mr. Moro is a world-renowned artist: in Malta he made one of the world’s biggest gate. He was inspired by the territory: his land, those hills worked by men throughout the centuries guided his hands. “I can still see my dad’s gestures at work (he was a farmer): when I was a little boy I used to ask myself why he would keep doing such hard work, but then I got my answer: tenacity, suffering, sacrifice and perseverance do satisfy men”.Sculptor, locksmith, artisan, artist. Who is the real Valentino Moro?

I do not define myself, I let my work speak for me. An artist shall remain small compared to his own work.

Who does you work speak to?

I have all kind of clients: winemakers, cellars, restaurants, individuals. What I really do here is give new life to the unseen, while talking about nature, because we are underestimating it. Even the most beautiful work of art - if abandoned - gets eaten by nature. Nature wins it all.

When was Valentino Moro, master of iron, born?

When I went to the Vinitaly exhibition: people called me crazy, because I was going to a wine exhibition with my ironwork pieces. But I knew a disruptive gesture was needed. An American guy passed by my stand, he liked what he saw and helped me promoting my work outside the territory.

What is your definition of elegance?

It means creating a piece of work able to connect with the environment, without disturbing it. It’s not the object, but the context which makes it elegant. Elegance is about taking off, it is simplicity and lightness coming from shapes and proportions.

Can elegance be functional?

Sure, it can. A table must be handy, safe and comfy in the first place. Even when it’s the council’s table of Follina Municipality; it is a 13 meter, U shaped table with two arms that seem to embrace you. It weighs 25 tons, but it has to look light. For the Pallavicini Manor of Rome I built an 18 tons cantilever table, but it rests on a single point and gives this feeling of lightness and balance..

It sounds easy as you say it; however, working the iron is an extremely hard job because it takes strength and precision at the same time: how important is patience, the ability to avoid being caught by the frenzy to see the result right away?

It takes a strong willpower, which you only gain through experience. It’s true, sometimes I’d like to see the final result quickly, but inside me the work is already finished from the moment when I create it. Perhaps, this is the secret.

How much do you get fond of you works?

Often, before I hand it in, I keep it with me to admire it a little longer. I have a very direct relationship with my work. When I had to separate from the Maltese gate I suffered like hell and the same happened with the Vajont sculpture.

How do you live with fatigue?

Fatigue doesn’t exist. I get up at 3am, I design until 5pm and then I start working until 9pm. I only get up tired when the stimuli are missing; but when I have big projects I don’t feel fatigued. I enjoy it because  my work makes my dreams come true. Art is the ultimate expression of freedom. But freedom can be scary, because once you have it, you can’t complain any longer.

How fascinating is Valdobbiadene to you?

It’s an amazing land that has been preserved by skillful hands. I keep looking at those hills with the eye of a tourist. We should never get used to such beauty.

Take a break and treat yourself with a toast: who or what would you like to raise a glass to?

I toast to the following 50 years. I am 60 years old and I see myself as a young boy, because I’ve learned how to dream. Artists think about the future, because their work lives on and is never meant for the present. I toast to those who never stop dreaming.

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