Throughout the textbook and in the news, Jenny Saville has been a relevant name for me over that past few months. Her larger than life oil paintings focus on the imperfections and actions of the human body, instead of the ever-so-common idealized figure that we’ve been discussing in class this week. Her statements on flesh, autonomy, and societal expectations of the human form have had a profound impact on not only my own artwork, but on my personal perception of female form and expectation in everyday life. Her blend of realism and abstract expressionism is unique, and has made me look into the idea of “realism vs. naturalism” a bit deeper outside of class. In my personal opinion, Saville’s work represents a naturalistic, rather than realistic, depiction of the human body. She seems to capture the action, form and emotion that a body feels instead of the way it looks.
On top of her impressive work, Saville was also recently in the news for breaking the price record with her painting, Propped (1992), as the highest paid living female artist. To me, this shows the interest that the modern art world has with breaking body, gender, and female standards.