A “painter of stories” celebrated for her dark, complex paintings, prints, drawings, and collages, Paula Rego draws upon folk- and fairytales, literature, and her own biography to create politically charged, deeply unsettling tableaux.
Her forceful compositions are imbued with cruelty—both subtle and overt—and permeated with a sense of unease and ambiguity. Rego is fascinated by what she calls “the beautiful grotesque” in life and in art. As she describes: “It’s the divine, perhaps. […] I mean some other kind of divine, which connects very strongly to Portuguese folk tales and stories—the strength of them and, very often, the enormous cruelty involved. The cruelty is fascinating.”