In the late 1980’s Paula Rego made a series of painting to explore close family relationships. All the relationships seem somewhat dysfunctional, particularly those between the fathers and the daughters. The Policeman’s Daughter is angry, her hand rammed into her father’s boot as she cleans it, a drawing for the painting shows its genesis in a relationship that is a little more innocent – a younger girl, cradling the boot as she cleans it, a toy castle symbolising security at her feet. In the painting, the castle has become a mistrustful cat, and the pose of the girl, taken from a sexually-explicit Robert Mapplethorpe photograph, anything but innocent.

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