“Art is an extended act away from the being, art is something else. Not everything can be art, and just because you’re an artist doesn’t mean everything you touch is art. You have to decide and know what is art, and you have to be separate from yourself.” -Tracey Emin
When I first came across the art of Tracey Emin, I wasn´t so sure how to feel about the way she sells herself/her art. She seemed to be so commercially inclined and I sort of judged her work, immediately questioning the integrity of her process and her pieces. The more I investigate her art, the more I fall in love with it. It´s not only the confessional quality her works possess that resonates with me, it´s just the honesty, that raw, ugly honesty that most are so afraid to show.
“Emin exposes herself, her hopes, humiliations, failures and successes in an incredibly direct manner. Often tragic and frequently humorous, it is as if by telling her story and weaving it into the fiction of her art she somehow transforms it.” read more about Emin here.
Tracey Emin is almost always portrayed as a Diana-esque femme tragique. It’s rare to get a glimpse of the happy, successful, confident person she’s become. I’ve Got It All is a transient crowning glory: a shameless, two-fingers up to her critics. Emin’s triumphed over all, and has money up the whazoo to boot!
In 1974, Joseph Beuys did a performance called I Love America, and America Loves Me where he lived in a gallery with a wild coyote for seven days as a symbolic act of reconciliation with nature. 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.
A consummate storyteller, Tracey Emin engages the viewer with her candid exploration of universal emotions. Well-known for her confessional art, Tracey Emin reveals intimate details from her life to engage the viewer with her expressions of universal emotions. Her ability to integrate her work and personal life enables Emin to establish an intimacy with the viewer.
Tracey shows us her own bed, in all its embarrassing glory. Empty booze bottles, fag butts, stained sheets, worn panties: the bloody aftermath of a nervous breakdown. By presenting her bed as art, Tracey Emin shares her most personal space, revealing she’s as insecure and imperfect as the rest of the world.