Portraits of Paula Rego in her London Studio
I took these portraits of Paula Rego in her London studio a few years ago. Theatrical, feisty, charming, open, vulnerable and honest – she was as one might expect from her powerful paintings and pastel drawings. Although she is one of Britain and Portugal’s most important artists (and arguably Britain’s most significant female artist) I hadn’t gone to talk about her work (tempting as it was), instead at the time I was working on a small exhibition of her husband, the painter Victor Willing, and we were discussing the content of the show. In a remarkable admission she told me that Victor was the only artist of whom she was ever in awe. As she was showing me her own studio props that she uses for her paintings she clasped this figurine. I couldn’t resist taking a few photographs and she rose to the occasion. I may have misremembered, but I’m pretty sure it was a gift from Jann Haworth. It makes me want to return to using an SLR camera instead of the ubiquitous iPhone. Somewhere I have a fabulous picture of her with eyes gazing upwards. She really is a star, and, one should add, a lovely lady.
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Tags: Jann Haworth, london, Paint, Paula Rego, Portugal, Simon Martin, Victor Willing