Jenny Saville's paintings are known for the mountains of flesh they reveal, but it is the neuroses bursting through that interest her, she tells The Guardianâ€™s Suzie Mackenzie.
In August 2003, on her way back to London from a holiday in Sicily, the artist Jenny Saville stopped off in the island's capital, Palermo, for what she intended to be a single day's sightseeing, having never visited the city before. It must have been like entering not so much a new world, as her own world - the world she has carried around in her head since she was a child and which she has forged into those monumental flesh paintings, her unidealised naked bodies, which erupt and leak at us, and force us into new habits of perception. What is this thing, the body, her paintings ask, when it is stripped bare, denuded of personality and context, this thing that seems so much a part of us, and which we try so hard to look after and yet which betrays us, decays from within, and which, when it leaves us, takes us with it?
Jenny Saville â€“ biography
Completing her studies at the Glasgow School of Art in 1992, Jenny Saville's graduation was a huge success; every painting was sold - one to British mega-collector Charles Saatchi. By the time she was preparing to return to college for her post-graduate studies, Saatchi had tracked down the other works that had already been sold and bought them too. He then offered the artist an 18-month contract, supporting her while she created new work to be exhibited in the Saatchi Gallery in London. It was an explosive start to a young artist's career.
The images that had catapulted Saville into the international artworld were born from a fusion of her addictive love of painting and strong interest in feminist theory. Yet Saville's chosen methods - large oil paintings of female nudes - were oddly outmoded: implicitly associated with a male-dominated art history. That she has managed to use such means to put forward a consistent, credible statement as a contemporary female artist is testament to the singularity of her vision. Read the entire articleSource: