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Over the past 15 years Ral Veroni has employed a wide variety of media in the realisation of his artwork: printmaking, painting, poetry, digital art and a diverse series of artistic interventions in public life.

These changes in genre without doubt reflect a restless nature. Given his background in printmaking - his father was the Italian artist and printmaker Raoul Veroni – it could also be regarded as a reaction to the emphasis which other printmakers place on the perfection of technique above aesthetical or conceptual concerns.

Perhaps it is as he says – in an effort to simplify – that everything is dependent on economic circumstance: “If I have money I paint, if I have less I draw and if I am impoverished I write”.

In all his projects Veroni demonstrates the ability to adapt the medium to the message -most often as a survival strategy- as identified by Moira Jeffrey in her article Caped Crusaders, Kings, Clowns and other City Types.

The constant political upheaval in his country, Argentina, has also contributed to the variety of projects undertaken. The work realised in Buenos Aires reflects these changes, taking the city and its history, the society and its collective memory as references.

In the majority of the Buenos Aires projects it is possible to observe a strong critique of the ups and downs of his country: a political critique in Welcome to the Circus, an economic one in Struggle for Life, a social critique in Buenos Aires and The Nomad Exhibition, or a historical one in La Argentina.

Different cultures and landscapes have also played their part in the diversity of his approaches in his artwork. Since 1996 -as a result of his travels around the USA, Mexico and the UK- his production, particularly his artist’s books, have moved to more abstract subjects, such as in Vacuum, or to the self-referential, as in Itinerario.

Most recently, Veroni has worked on a series of digital art projects: lambda prints, artist’s books and websites. These projects work within a new structure: that of the symbolic representation of “the entities which form part of, or dominate, our lives’’ such as Destiny, Time, Madness, etc.

It is possible that in these recent artworks Veroni’s aim has been to use the media to find a common language which functions beyond cultural borders, and in this way to reach a wider international audience.

It is interesting to see the difference in character between the works that refer specifically to his country (Buenos Aires, La Argentina) where there is an evident social and political commentary, and the works which relate to wider themes (Glasgow, Tramas y Mandalas), with a predominantly aesthetic and philosophical message.

The influence of cartoons is also evident in Veroni’s work. TV, animations and comics had a great impact on RV and his generation. Of all the aesthetic ‘styles’, Veroni is drawn to this as a popular medium of communication: the public to which his work is addressed is broader than the usual specialist artistic circles.

Through this popular graphic style he articulates messages which include -or alternate between- political satire, existentialist philosophy, social critique and the merely decorative.

 

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