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Tracey Emin Biography

Tracey Emin is a British artist, born in 1963 in Croydon, England. She studied fashion at the Medway College of Design and then moved to London in 1987 to study painting at the Royal College of Art.  She joined the Young British Artists in 1988 and remained a prominent member through the 90’s. She showed along side of artists such as Damien Hirst and David Hume, and had her first solo exhibition at White Cube in 1993.


Emin’s work is inspired from her personal life, which has been controversial. Her famous "tent" Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995, displayed her sexual partners, relatives she slept with as a child, her twin brother, and her two aborted children. It was purchased by Charles Saatchi, included in the Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy of London in 1997, and then toured to Berlin and New York. 


Her other famous work was My Bed, which she created in 1998 and then exhibited at the Tate Gallery in 1999. The bed was her personal bed, unmade, with objects such as slippers, empty liquor bottles, cigarette butts, and condoms.  In 2014, Saatchi sold My Bed

at auction to the collector, Count Christian Duerckheim, for $4.3 million.  The work is now on long-term loan to the Tate Modern in London.


Her artwork has been described as “brutally honest”, is completely inspired by her own life, and has been expressed in a wide range of mediums, including film, painting, neon, embroidery, drawing, installation, and sculpture. She currently lives in East London and teaches drawing at the Royal Academy. Emin is one of two females to have taught at the academy since it’s founding in 1768.


Tracey Emin has work featured in the permanent collections of the British Museum in London, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, 
Museum of Modern Art in New York, Museum van Loon in Amsterdam, Pompidou Centre in Paris, 
Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum in New York, 
Sammlung Goetz Collection in Munich, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 
Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, and the Tate Gallery in London.