That fortuitous first meeting took place at Budapest's Hotel Benczúr in District VI on November 6, 2018 when art curator Péter Bézi’s Young Artists Gallery staged the "Cherchez la Femme" exhibition, subtitled "7 Női alkotó, 7 Napig" (7 Creative Women, For 7 Days). Veronika B. and Verónica C. weren’t just interested onlookers; they were two of the seven.

It is Bézi who is behind their new joint exhibition, which is called "Veronicas’ Colors" and which opened at the Turisztikai Központ Sástó on June 29, 2019. Sástó is a tourist centre with a lake and a lookout tower outside Gyöngyös in pretty countryside at the foot of the Mátra Mountains. It is an hour’s drive from Budapest. The exhibition will run until the end of August.

Verónica Chahin is otherwise known as Her Excellency the Ambassador of Chile to Hungary and is a mother of two. Veronika Bernhardt was born in Pécs and is a mother of one and a computer programmer in Budapest. They both paint in oil. Apart from this, their common bond developed when it became apparent at the Hotel Benczúr exhibition that they both liked similar colours.

# Veronika Bernhardt, left, and Verónica Chahin

Veronika B. likes to paint famous people and her works in Sástó feature cultural icons Andy Warhol, James Dean, Jim Morrison, Alfred Hitchcock, Marilyn Monroe and Rihanna. Her artworks have a pop art element and she has found a market for some of them. Verónica C. paints in a more romantic style and leans towards depictions of ladies and flora. There is no doubt that both painters show a feminine touch, says Bézi, and what’s more their use of colour is both very bright and very dynamic.

Verónica C. says: "When I first came to Hungary [in mid-2015] I found its painting to be very sad or grey but now I have found Veronika and her work is amazing. Her use of colour and the way she expresses herself is quite unique. It reminds me a lot of Warhol."

It’s not completely easy for the two ladies, with their respective languages, to converse. Painting together is the great communicator, and sometimes, up in the atelier, they don’t feel the need to talk. Other times, as they wield their brushes, Verónica C. tries to brush up on her Hungarian language skills and Veronika B. on her English.

The name Veronica, says one of the ladies, originates from the Latin phrase vera icon meaning "true image", or "true face". "You can see everything in a face," she says.


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