I got a new book.
I am intrigued by British artist, Jenny Saville's work. Her figures, so big and fat in every sense of the word, makes a statement about a woman's sense of herself and her body; plastic surgery madness; and perhaps our very society that values thin and pretty and wants it so much. All of her big mama figures are here; plus some other odds and ends of how she researches her work (clips from magazines and newspapers about plastic surgery, weight loss, etc.).
While the book is mostly big full color prints, there are articles about Saville written by the following:
Saville's art makes me think: As artists, are we supposed to/expected to comment on what goes on around us? Should we make statements with our art? Or is it enough to add something of beauty to a sometimes ugly world? I love looking at something beautiful. But I also love looking at something that brings an issue right smack into my face. Maybe there's room for both and you have to follow your own path...
And perhaps if you want your work shown, you have to produce what is acceptable in your area. I can't imagine doing something this bold and trying to show it here - it wouldn't get in! I'm not in New York or Chicago. I'm in a region that is very conservative and you would be surprised at how many people will not go to a gallery that shows nudes.
Just some thoughts while going through the paintings in this big, beautiful book.