Jenny Saville's work is deeply rooted in the art of the past and the tradition of figurative painting. Her inspirations range from Rubens to Velazquez, Freud to Bacon. In Branded Saville challenges the conventional notions of female beauty and seeks to advance the discourse in identity politics. Her sculptural paint-handling has a mysterious way of transforming sometimes gruesome imagery into something compelling and beautiful. Saville's work is interested in the hybrid construction of the body and the deep marks across the figure's neck in Branded allude to the target marks of plastic surgery.
In the artist's words, "For me it is about the flesh and trying to make paint behave in a way that flesh behaves. Using its material quality, which ranges from a stain to something thick and juicy. Trying to use the mark-making to communicate the way a female body behaves. It is not just about the sight of the body. It's about the feel, the touch and the smell of the body. It's not about the primacy of vision; it's about using paint, its materiality, in a way that can evoke tactility." (J. Saville, Territories, Gagosian Gallery 1999, p.32.)