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War was inspired by a news photograph taken during the recent Iraq war. A close-up of a young girl’s face dominated almost half of the photograph, while a woman in the background held her child stoically. Rego transformed the original image, using a cast of rabbits and other hybrid creatures. As in Rego’s earlier pastels, such figures hark back to a subversive and psychologically troubling tradition of folk tales and fairy tales that explore themes of violence and sexuality..

November 2006