Paula Rego is an artist of astonishing power with a unique and unforgettable aesthetic. Taking its cues from the artist, this fascinating study invites us to reflect on the complexities of storytelling on which Rego’s work draws, emphasizing both the stories the pictures tell, and how it is that they are told.
Deryn Rees-Jones sets interpretations of the pictures in the context of Rego’s personal and artistic development across sixty years. We see how Rego’s art intersects with the work of both the literary and the visual, and come to understand her rich and textured layering of reference: her use of the Old Masters; fiction, fairy tales and poems; the folk traditions of Rego’s native Portugal; and her wider engagement with politics, feminism and more. The result is a highly original work that addresses urgent and topical questions of gender, subject and object, self and other.