From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Paula Figueiroa Rego, (born
1935) is a Portuguese painter, illustrator and printmaker.
Rego was born in Lisbon within a
rich family, during Salazar“s regime, which would be a later influence
in her work. Rego was sent to St Julian's School, Carcavelos, Portugal
before studying at the Slade School of Art where she met the artist
Victor Willing, whom she eventually married. The two divided their time
between Portugal and England until 1975, when they moved to England
permanently. In 1988, Willing died after suffering for some years from
multiple sclerosis. Mother-in-law to Ron Mueck whose career she
influenced. Rego was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1989 and was
awarded the Degree of Doctor of Letters honoris causa by Oxford
University in June 2005.
She started painting at the age of four. Her work often gives a sinister
edge to storybook imagery, emphasizing malicious domination or the
subversion of natural order. She deals with social realities that are
polemic, an example being her important Triptych (1998) on the subject
of abortion, now in the collection of Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal.
Rego's style is often compared to cartoon illustration. As in cartoons,
animals are often depicted in human roles and situations. Later work
adopts a more realistic style, but sometimes keeps the animal references
— the Dog Woman series of the 1990s, for example, is a set of pastel
pictures depicting women in a variety of dog-like poses (on all fours,
baying at the moon, and so on).
Rego has also painted a portrait
of Germaine Greer, which is in the National Portrait Gallery in London,
as well as the official presidency portrait of Jorge Sampaio. Rego only
ever painted one self-portait including her grand daughter, Grace Smart,
that sold for some £300,000.