Dame Paula Rego

Paula Rego was born and brought up in Portugal, and trained at the Slade School of Fine Art.  Traditional folk and fairy tales have always figured largely in Rego’s consciousness, as her Great Aunt used to recount them to her as a child. As an artist, she frequently depicts such narratives in her work, although not purely illustratively; they are always twisted or subverted, with a fierce sense of fear, cruelty or violence.

Rego’s early paintings tended towards abstraction, sometimes featuring her own drawings used as collage. Subsequently she has moved towards a more figurative, naturalistic painting style (and similarly in her printmaking), though often presenting characters as animals or children. Rego likes to leave the matter of interpretation open to the viewer, and there is always plenty to see: from political satire, to issues of feminism and gender, to powerful suggestions of Freudian sexuality.

Rego is an Honorary Fellow of Murray Edwards College.