War (2003) by artist Paula Rego (1935 — 2022) is based on a newspaper photograph of Iraqi civilians in the aftermath of a bomb explosion during the Iraq war. Rego was shaken by the image of a mother carrying a baby, seemingly frozen in fear, and a girl screaming standing next to them.
Here, she gives the figures mask-like rabbit heads. A disfigured children’s toy laying on the ground makes the horror more intense. As in Rego’s other work, the figures reference the subversive and psychologically troubling traditions of folk and fairytales, which explore themes of violence and sexuality.
Photographed in the Tate Modern Museum in London.