Most of us know Papier-mâché as a craft we had fun with in grade school--slopping together strips of newspaper, flour, water and some glue--to create a silly mask molded on an inflated balloon. The more artistic among us might have produced more ambitious creations in high school--a dragon, a dog, maybe even an abstract Papier-mâché object of art.
But in Italy, Papier-mâché, or Cartapesta, as it's known there, is considered a high art medium, with some amazing Masters of the craft creating monumental works that can look like they were coming out of the workshops of Renaissance Masters.
Guerrino Lovato is one of these Maestro di Cartapesta. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, in 1983 he opened his Venice studio and workshop where he creates, along with his now famous Venetian papier-mâché masks, sculptures and architectural props for theater, opera and cinema.
For many years he has organized the Venice Carnival, and in 1993 he created a monumental work--sculptures for the Nativity of Venice, an impressive 75 foot moving sculpture with narration by Marcello Mastroianni. This exhibit attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors.
In 1995 he wrote and published "Objects and Sculptures out of Papier mâché ". More of his creations include sculptures for Gulliver Park in Tokyo, Japan; two large statues of Santa Rosalia for the famous feast in Palermo; for the Vatican, a statue of Christ in Michelangelo's style that stoof 18 feet tall; and he created the interior decorations for The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Read more about Cartapesta HERE.