I have recently been looking at the work of Paula Rego. At first, i didn’t think much of her paintings, they looked really odd and the dark colours made them look rather disturbing.
The old republican 2005
After learning more about her work and the stories behind them, I think she is remarkable! Her pieces are so powerful! Her paintings tell a story of her life and what she has been through. A use of nostalgia, by looking at scenes of her childhood and putting a story there. It is both a physic and emotional experience.
She says that if you paint pictures, it’s about whats inside of you and what comes out. We all have secrets and many of us show it in our work.
One series of paintings that stood out to me were the paintings of women having backstreet abortions.
Back then abortions were illegal in Portugal. There was a referendum to legalise it, but nobody had bothered to vote. She wanted to become involved, to make a change because they desperately needed proper clinics. So she did these explicit paintings of young girls to make people aware, because she felt people needed to know how important is was for women to have abotions legalised. She had the power to change the law.
Image Reference: https://www.abbothall.org.uk/abbot/artwork/paula-rego
Image Reference: https://uk.pinterest.com/baxte5/paula-rego/?lp=true
Paula Rego herself, had a hard life. She had back street abortions herself and men at that time didn’t care much for women. Her father suffered from depression and her mother didn’t teach her much. Over the years she had lost her innocence.
One quote i liked from Paula Rego was:
“If that person understands your work very well, they understand you really well”.