Tracey Emin b. 1963


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Tracey Emin studied fashion design 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 1990s. She exhibited her work alongside artists as Damien Hirst and David Hume and was given her first solo exhibition in 1993 at White Cube.


Emin’s works draw inspiration from her chaotic personal life. Her famous "tent" entitled 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. The work was purchased by British businessman Charles Saatchi, included in the Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy of London in 1997, and then toured to Berlin and New York. In 1998, Emin created My Bed, which was later exhibited at the Tate Gallery in 1999. The work consisted of her personal bed, unmade with objects as slippers, empty liquor bottles, cigarette butts and condoms.  In 2014, Saatchi sold My Bed at auction to 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 by critics as “brutally honest.” She has expressed her life in a wide range of mediums, including film, painting , embroidery, drawing, installation and sculpture. She currently teaches drawing at the Royal Academy as one of two female teachers at the academy since its founding in 1768.


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


Related Categories: Young British Artists (YBA), Neo-Conceptualism, Light, Text, Provocative, United Kingdom and Ireland, Erotic, The Body, Mixed-Media, Contemporary Figurative Painting.