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Re-inventing my style

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Setting the scene in the studio
Paula Rego Artist
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Lila and Tony were together. So that he could lean on her properly. And the other girl... I don’t think... I think they were together once, but then I... they came individually so that I could do them... I could do them with more care. But they were together at first. Yes. And... and there are pictures where... I mean there are pictures that, for instance the After Hogarth one, where Lila is holding Tony, like a Pieta painting, she's actually holding him. I mean there are lots of supports. There's buckets underneath so that she doesn’t have to, you know, so that he doesn’t hurt his back and that she... so but she's actually holding him, absolutely, in position, otherwise you couldn’t do it, could you, really? If you imagine that. And.... and these... they were together exactly. And then she came afterwards. But at one time they were all three together. But not to start with. And the two of them started with... and then she came in afterwards. Yeah. Yeah, they don’t set up the scene. And then... then... other... I have done pictures with the one that I had all the trees in here, where I had this... my house in Ericeira with a... with a... gard... with a terrace, and anybody who came in, sat for me, and went into the picture. So then that... somebody came in, they sat for me, and they went into the picture, and so on. So that was quite nice. But they... these were... these were more composed.

Portuguese painter Paula Rego, became part of the London Group in 1965, was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1989 and became the first Associate Artist of the National Gallery in London in 1990. Her work is strongly influenced by folk and fairy tales, especially those of her homeland.

Listeners: Catherine Lampert

Catherine Lampert is an independent curator, art historian and Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts. She was director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery (1988-2001) and has been a model for Frank Auerbach since 1978. Her recent projects include exhibitions of Rodin (Royal Academy 2006) and Lucian Freud (Dublin, Denmark and The Hague 2007-2008) as well as a book on Francis Alys (Turner Libros) and a catalogue raisonné of Euan Uglow's paintings (Yale University Press 2007).

Duration: 1 minute, 24 seconds

Date story recorded: August 2007

Date story went live: 17 July 2008