Beppino Lorenzet, the “Alpini” sculptor

Talent is a spark that turns the obvious into art. Tree trunks, wood logs abandon their natural form and tell a new exciting story. This story and our talent are born in Valbelluna, where Terche and Ardo flow into Piave, under the watchful eye of the Dolomites.

Beppino Lorenzet handles his Alpini wooden carved hat to Don Bruno Fasani

It is here that Beppino Lorenzet breathes the first breaths of peasant life, intercepting the essence that will transfuse himself in his art and from which, at the same time, he can not wait to run far. For young Beppino running is the only way to get away from a reality he does not feel: “The family could not guarantee me great opportunities to study. Sport was a good solution and the mountains were one step away. ”

Sweating and kilometers of trails elevated him to a professional athlete and let him slide, slowly, to twenty years. It was naja’s time. They baptized him alpine by sending him to the Car in L’Aquila, in Julia, then in the sports group at Teramo and after three months approached him at home, at the Belluno District. After 14 months of service – the earthquake in Friuli had lengthened the stay – Mel’s Alpine Group welcomed him with open arms and … he did it again in the mountains. Two Silvers in 1979 at the National Championships of the Association, a bronze in the 80s, a year of great experience at the New York Marathon, and in 1984 gold, the first won for the Belluno Section in the mountain race, a success Two years later.

Meanwhile, his other great talent, sculpture, began to irresistibly impose. “In fact, as a child I really felt inside to be a sculptor; I collected small pieces of wood of different qualities and tried to intercept its peculiarities. ” At first, his study consists of so many tests and passion, followed by good teaching. “Some of my works are made of cast, in the beginning with a carpentry work and I go on without sketches, others are prepared by hand drawing on the table, like this …”. It is a story written in the wood, filled with symbolisms that recall scents, smells, sensations. And it really seems that the eye can intercept all other senses to go to the discovery of the most subtle meanings of the work. In another, there are children playing ball and the figures seem so moving that the fluidity of the actions is felt in the wood.

The monument to the fallen, in Zelant (Mel – Belluno – Veneto – Italy)

It is also noted in some female sculptures, such as the “Canadian Ballet dancer”, elegantly slim, immortalized during the action. But the subjects are the most varied, all pervaded by an indisputable originality: deformed bodies with faces trapped in suffering, grinning devils, sacred works such as the intense face of the Assumption or the tables of the Via Crucis, carved for the Church of his country. Lorenzet derived models mainly for monuments, made by working marble and bronze in foundry, because “a sculptor must not be conditioned by material, but must bring out the idea.” And the idea is powerful in its beautiful alpine work, the “Vedetta del Boz”. “A wind blow,” Lorenzet said, “had a big tree sloping down the street and told the owner, ‘Why do not we cut the tip and make a sculpture?'”. A scaffolding, a chainsaw for “banging” and chiseling: in a week the alpine was done and finished. Protected by the mantle, it stands impressive, stern, to “the lofty bastion of our contradictions.”

Alongside the Zelant Alpine church there is another piece of his work, made of bronze in honor of the Fallen. A grounded abandoned pestle, a shoe with a rusty buckle and a bunch of sunflowers. Everything is dominated by Tucidide’s phrase: “Evil is not only of those who do it; it is also of those who, by preventing it from doing so, do not prevent it.”

It is a dear theme in Lorenzet and is also found in one of the latest works, made for the centenary of Mount Grappa near the Bocchette refuge. A skull resting on a giant chair, to warn “the powerful of the Earth who, sitting on their screws, only cause death.” In the years Lorenzet participated in numerous competitions, collected 22 first prizes, bringing his art all over the world: the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Japan. It was even in Sweden to carve in the ice hotel of Kiruna.

But Beppino is full of surprises and says he has also worked in Egypt: “In 2010 I won a European competition and went to teach in Cairo, Alexandria, Egypt and Damietta. I started this adventure almost as a joke; They asked me, ‘Do you know English?’ ‘Ooooh, you want it!’, I replied, and I came to the final with a Finn, but in the end they preferred me. ” In Egypt it was the task of ferrying the school of local carvers from baroque to modern and prospective, to be more competitive with the European market. “I have taken them to the study of more stylized works, always respecting their religion that prohibits the reproposition of elements and human figures: for example they have accepted the representation of the eye. It was Mubarak’s time. But in 2011, after being six months in the land of the pyramids, civil war broke out. I had to run away and with the Muslim Brothers the bans came back. ”

Over the last few years, Beppino has chose the teaching and the desire to convey his knowledge to the younger. “They made me realize that there was no chance of winning the contest at the Sedico Wood School because of my qualification that was not fit. But my work, all the awards and competitions I won won a score. So I did it! ”

Today he teaches 150 kids of several classes and has created a school in his own image. “Many ask me what is the difference between craftsmanship and art? I’ve never made too much difference, because you have to be a craftsman and only after sculptor and artist. Some say artisanship is useful, art is superfluous. But craftsmanship in architecture becomes design and is therefore a form of artistic expression … “. “Anyway, I’m and I just feel a sculptor … with the Alpine hat in my heart.”

(Article by Matteo Martin, published in the May 2015 issue of Alpino)

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