The Unicorn Artist
This limited edition of The Unicorn Artist, a coloured lithograph on paper has been included in Leyden Gallery’s exhibition Creature (dis)comforts. On first sight, it seems to represent two young women engaged in a kind of folkloric and juvenile game. However, upon closer inspection the image becomes more ambiguous and uncanny. The young woman in jackboots is holding a hobby horse, while the other seated figure is putting up a board against her. There is, undoubtedly, an underlying atmosphere of sexual tension, repression and threatened violence contrary to Rego’s beautiful etching skill and the illustrative, fable-like quality of the work. The shadow, cast by the hobby horse onto the board resembles the shape of a vagina; the jackboots as a symbol of authority and power has been a recurrent element in her work. This amazing piece of work exposes how power and corruption can pervert and conquer even the most commonplace and innocent of activities.
The Unicorn Artist (2008)