Born in Lisbon ( Portugal) in 1934, Paula Rego is internationally known by her magical realism.
In 1952, she moved in London to study fine art in the Slade School of Art.
after it with her husband, Victor Willing himself an artist, moved in Portugal where she would be the bursary of Calouste Gloubenkian Foundation.
After it she was appointed, selected from many institutions making her a really successful artist.
Visiting Lecturer in Painting Slade School of Art
Appointed the First National Gallery Associate Artist
Honorary Master of Art, Winchester School of Art, 12 June
Honorary Doctorate of Letters, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, 24 June
Honorary Doctorate of Letters, University of East Anglia, Norwich, 8 July
Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Rhode Island School of Design, USA, 3 June
Honorary Doctorate of Letters, The London Institute, 23 May
Grã Cruz da Ordem de Sant’Iago da Espada presented by the President of Portugal
Commissioned by the Royal Mail to produce a set of Jane Eyre Stamps
Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Oxford University, June
Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Roehampton University, July
Her work is based on real life stories either from her personal experience or just form myths or fairy tales, normally with a very dramatic narrative.
Although her dramatic scenes are criticized by some individuals, the power of her paintings, from the content to the actual technique impress everyone.
In Cascais (Lisbon) in 2009 she opened her own museum built by the architect Eduardo Souto Moura. This museum has a permanent exhibition featuring work with her husband, Victor Willing, and also smaller exhibition.
I have been at this museum several times and I do recommend for everyone to go and visit because the all environment of the museum is really inspiring.
Down below are some of her work (otherwise I would need to feel up the intire blog with her work).
Paula Rego paints a world of dark fairy tale where childhood stories are thin guises for psycho-sexual intrigue and taboo, where magical realism rules, where nothing is certain except the witchy powers of feminism, and the underlying notion that nothing is as it seems.
Inspired by a story a friend had written for her, Paula Rego draws her Dog Woman in pastels, referencing the raw physicality of Degas’ drawings. “To be a dog woman is not necessarily to be downtrodden; that has very little to do with it,” She explained, “In these pictures every woman’s a dog woman, not downtrodden, but powerful. To be bestial is good. It’s physical. Eating, snarling, all activities to do with sensation are positive. To picture a woman as a dog is utterly believable.”
In Swallows The Poison Apple, Paula Rego revises the tale of Snow White to expose the fallible value of youth. Dressed in traditional Disney garb, this Snow White isn’t a beautiful princess, but a middle-aged woman. Pictured moments after eating the poison apple, she lays sprawled amidst overturned furniture, suggesting painful and violent demise. Clutching her skirts, she alludes to her sexual nature, as if clinging to something slipping away. Her body lies between a blanket adorned with spring blossoms, and a sinister backdrop of red and black. Rego illustrates the conflict of reality encroaching on the socially imposed myths of female worth, construing aging as both a physical and psychological violation.