Paula Rego was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1935 and has traveled between London and Portugal throughout her life. She studied painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, and her career as an artist spans half a century.Working from literature, myths, fairy tales, cartoons and religious texts, Rego creates narrative works imbued with mystery. She is drawn to subjects that are well known and well resolved, and takes her imagery from sources as varied as Peter Pan and Mary Magdalene.
Rego currently lives and works in London, and is considered one of the leading figurative artists of the day.
In her own words...
"I came to England in 1951 when I was 16 to go to art school. I had been interested in art since I was four. But first my parents sent me to a finishing school in Kent. There I had a teacher called Mr Bradshaw who helped me to get a place at Chelsea School of Art. My parents were not pleased because a friend of theirs had gone to Chelsea and came away pregnant. They thought that could happen to me and said I had to look for a better school, and that the Slade was the best of alI. I got an interview and studied there part time, but I don’t think the tutors really liked what I painted – I have always painted figurative works. I remember the abstract artist Victor Pasmore gave me a tutorial and when he saw my pictures he said, 'What is this, it is a load of rubbish – you should be painting abstract pictures, like I do.’ I told him I didn’t know how to do that and he had to accept it."