Monday, November 13, 2006

Paula Rego's contribution

Below is the text reproduced from an article in the Independent on 8 November 2006. Also pictured is another bit of fun from John MacMahon.

The artist Paula Rego has just sent in two postcard-sized artworks to this year's RCA Secret , the bargain art sale. Each year famous artists donate work, which is sold anonymously alongside that of hundreds of other artists, including students or recent graduates of the RCA and other art colleges, who are all helping to raise money for the RCA Fine Art Student Award Fund. It is not until the card is bought for £35 that the artist's name is revealed.

Last year's postcard art-works included Damien Hirst's flying dove with a skull, Julian Opie's female nude, Rego's sketch of a mother and baby, Grayson Perry's colour drawing of a proposed monument for the Trafalgar Square plinth and Olafur Eliasson's mathematical drawing. Hirst and Eliasson return this year, and Tracey Emin and David Bailey are also taking part.

"Two blank cards arrived in the post," says Rego. "I forgot about them for a while. Then I realised I was running out of time." The Portuguese artist set to work on the postcards in her studio in Camden. "Inspiration never comes in flashes," she says. "I always make my work from my studio. I find it difficult to do it anywhere else because I am used to it. If I do it from home, I eat or watch telly. I am surrounded in my studio by props which I use in my pictures - rabbit heads and other creatures I make myself - rails of clothes and mannequins that I dress up." At the time, Rego was a little busy, finishing off the work for her current exhibition (running until 18 November) of pastels and lithographs at Marlborough Fine Art. Among her own work, she is very fond of The Fisherman (2005), a pastel triptych in the current exhibition, and the Dog Woman series of the 1990s, a set of pastel pictures of women in dog-like poses, including baying at the moon.

"Although my style varies quite a lot, I think people who know it will be able to recognise my work," she says.

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