Antonio Verones “Faces in the Shadows”
September 10 – November 15, 2009
“#14,” Oil on paper, 16 x 19.5 in.

The Paul Mahder Gallery is pleased to present the U.S. Premiere of new paintings by internationally recognized Brazilian artist Antonio Veronese.

Now living in Paris, he has recently exhibited at the United Nations, Art Paris 2009, Galerie Celal – Paris, and solo exhibits at the History Museum – Domaine National de Saint-Cloud, Barbizon Village of Painters and the Museum of Asago Village, Japan.

Antonio Veronese was born of Italian parents in Brotas, a small town near São Paulo in 1953. At an early age he was obsessed with drawing faces and he’s been painting them ever since. Now he’s a master painter. For more than sixteen years he taught art and painting to young prisoners in Rio de Janeiro.

He believed art was a “drug” that could psychologically rehabilitate these disenfranchised children.

And it did. Over 50% of the children he worked with were rehabilitated into society. Because of his work he was invited to the Commission on Human Rights at the United Nations, and received the highest honor from the Supreme Court of Justice of Brazil.

“It is the remarkable struggle and work of Antonio Veronese to reduce violence against youth in Rio de Janeiro.”- Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State

“The project of rehabilitation through art is a fascinating, rich human experience. I think Antonio Veronese’s life is a lesson for us all, because he is proving that Art can be a path of liberation for those in precarious living situations. The work of Antonio Veronese is a cultural heroic effort to ensure that children in prison regain a sense of dignity through art. I think this is a beautiful experience that we need to communicate to all.”- Francisco Welfort, Minister of Culture, Brazil

Veronese remarks, “The image of a hedonistic Rio de Janeiro, all samba and soccer, has become a cliché and our intellectuals have become our worst natural disaster. Armored cars have become a status symbol, but a society that suffers from fear every day is in defeat.”

For such words and paintings that exposed entrenched official violence and gave voice to victimized children, Veronese was personally threatened with violence. He ultimately had to flee to save his life.

He relocated to Paris where he has continued to show in more than 30 art exhibitions, exhibiting in many museums, appearing in multiple public and private collections.