Saville used her own image for this large scale painting, but does not see it as a self-portrait. The head is laid against a mirror, but the eyes, lightly unfocused, gaze out of the picture at the viewer. The rich colours of the painting are concentrated around the open mouth, making it an almost sensual focal point, yet these reds also make the face appear distorted, scarred and bloody.
All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life
Date of work
Jenny Saville is a British painter and photographer, born in Cambridge in 1970, and is part of the Young British Artists (YBA) movement. After graduating from the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Cincinnati, Saville had all of the works from her senior show bought by Charles Saatchi, who then sponsored her to produce new works for the Saatchi Gallery. Physicality is central to Saville’s work, which comprises mostly of figure paintings on a large scale, with detailed and often distorted flesh.