Jenny Saville was born in Cambridge, England and is a painter and artist, who specialized particularly in oversized oil paintings. She formed and perfected her talent in the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Cincinnati, for which she both got scholarships for. Jenny claims that already in an early age she was fascinated by fat white meat and thick women. But she also got inspired by a fellow artist named Cindy Sherman.

In New York she worked for a plastic surgeon, who let her peak over his shoulders at work. That way she gained an in-depth knowledge of the human body. The artist was even allowed to take pictures during operations…

Jenny predominately makes use of red, which looks especially dangerous on plus sized canvases. The color tends to highlight the extent of the obesity. The paintings seem to capture you due to the format and they express an intimacy you cannot deny. Her preferred motives are women, predominately naked and overweight. They are being immortalized on the canvases in a pasty style.

She wants to capture the modern look on these women. They were the preferred motives by Rubens 300 years ago but the beauty ideal has changed drastically over the course of the years. “Old muses in new clothes” is a fitting description, don’t you think?

Jenny Saville herself said that she often seeks inspiration from Rubens’ work but she never neglects the medical journals to be able to capture the details like bruises and arteries or the right shades for the flesh. The results often look like misshapen landscapes which pervade her work portfolio like a golden thread and are complete contrasts to the beauty ideal presented in the media.

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