Web Analytics Made Easy -
top of page
New York City


Tracey Emin

    Tracey Emin is the most recognizable face of the Brit Art generation. In 1994 she produced Everyone I Have Slept With, a tent embroidered with the names of every person with whom she had ever shared a bed, no sex necessary. But she became famous during her infamous drunken television appearance in 1997.


    On account of her celebrity, Emin gets very little serious or considered attention from the art world. She has been criticized for being nothing more than a biographical documentarist and it is partly this unapologetic insistence on her own status as an artist that gets Emin into trouble.


    Her reputation as the most notorious of British art’s bad girls was fuelled by the associations of My Bed with an aesthetics of dirt; a scummy tide of soiled knickers, empty bottles, used condoms, discarded pharmaceuticals, urine-stained sheets, cigarette butts and other debris. It was headlined “It’s not a dirty bed, it’s a Turner Prize entry”.


    In 2008, installing her show in Edinburgh, titled Tracey Emin: 20 years she said, “To actually be unpacking my bed sheets from 10 years ago, the stains and detritus of my own being was like unpacking a ghost. A ghost with a smell, the smell of me that has gone.” She also said, “When an artist is good, they create their own language.”


    Her sensitivity, coupled with her desire for approval has, she admits, made the vitriol of the constant attacks on her and her art over the years hard to bear. During a television discussion, the artist was asked how she would have been influenced by Tracey Emin as a teenager. “I’d have fucking loved her,” she said simply.

    bottom of page