ARTIST DOSSIER: How Tracey Emin Lured Buyers From Kate Moss to Charles Saatchi: Page 3 of 3
ARTIST DOSSIER: How Tracey Emin Lured Buyers From Kate Moss to Charles Saatchi
Clearwater believes she is important because, like Rothko, “she shows how apt emotion is to art. She did not enjoy art school because they did not recognize emotion in art unless it was cynical or ironic.” Clearwater places her in the traditions of both medieval religious art (but in a secular vein) and the picaresque novel exemplified by Daniel Defoe’s 18th-century Moll Flanders, a racy story concerning a social outcast who navigates high society by means of her wits. Emin “has a clear voice. You can’t confuse her with anyone else,” says Clearwater.
As she continues to make new work, Emin admits that she feels a certain distance from the often shocking pieces that marked her entry into the limelight nearly 30 years ago. In a BBC interview earlier this year, Emin described the experience of having to reinstall My Bed several times for a traveling retrospective. “Every time, I had to take a deep breath because it was like really throwing myself back into the past, into a place I would never ever be now. I’d never have a bed like that. I can’t even believe I lived like that,” she says. Her memory continues to serve her art, she adds, but “I don’t want to be a screaming adolescent girl when I’m nearly 50.”
This article was published in the January issue of Art+Auction.