I may be the last person to hear of Tracey Emin. But, this blog is about my discoveries. It seems difficult to separate Tracey from her art, since it is so personal. She’s been a blatant self-promoter (as she would tell you herself), but also insecure. I love her and her work, as difficult as they each can be.
Her drawings are precise and fragile. If they are incomfortable then that is as it should be.
” There should be something revelatory about art. It should be totally new and creative and it should open doors for new thoughts and new experiences” Tracey Emin
‘We’re Middle-aged British Artists now. MABAs’ … Tracey Emin at the British pavilion in Venice. Photograph: David Levene
In 1996, Tracey Emin lived in a locked room in a gallery for fourteen days, with nothing but a lot of empty canvases and art materials, in an attempt to reconcile herself with paintings.
Viewed through a series of wide-angle lenses embedded in the walls, Emin could be watched, stark naked, shaking off her painting demons. Starting by making images like the artists she really admired (i.e. Egon Schiele, Edvard Munch, Yves Klein), Emin’s two-week art-therapy session resulted in a massive outpouring of autobiographical images, and the discovery of a style all her own.
The room was extracted in its entirety, and now exists as an installation work.
Tracey Emin can be considered one of the few artists able to reveal the intimate details of their life in an extremely powerful and honest way. The predominant subjects in her art are violent sex, motherhood, abortion, her hometown, family, lack of schooling, sexual past, as well as her affinity to alcohol. Tracey Emin’s art presents the world of her hopes, failures, success and humiliations that contains both tragic and humorous elements.
‘I’ve got to start using my brain more – I’ve got to be more ethereal and more enlightened’ … Tracey Emin at her new show at Turner Contemporary in Margate. Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian
“Demanding artist, selfish (her words) seeks an intelligent man with good sense of humour, probably not for sex because she’s going through the menopause and has lost the urge, but definitely for laughs and companionship.
“I want love,” says Tracey Emin. “I want to spend my life with someone and do nice things and go on adventures, read books and have nice food and celebrate things. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in the bedroom like some people who just go to bed and never get out again.”
Emin is approaching 50 and she is worried about the possibility of a lonely, gentle descent to death. “I am going through the menopause and I have been for ages,” she says. “It is a nightmare, an absolute nightmare. It’s horrible. And I don’t look like that kind of person; you don’t put menopause on top of my head, it doesn’t associate with me.”