What Exactly Is So Significant About Tracy Emin's 'My Bed'?
The 50 year-old artist's controversial artwork is expected to sell between £800,000 and £1.2 million, but what exactly is the piece representing?
With the recent announcement that British artist Tracey Emin's most recognisable piece 'My Bed' will be auctioned off at Christie's Auction House in London, the controversial artwork has gained widespread attention once again.
Since this news was confirmed, there have been several queries about the expected price it will be sold for. The piece is being estimated to be priced between £800,000 and £1.2 million.
Many artist fanatics have reportedly criticized this for being too low, but to the untrained eye it is baffling why this particular piece is worth such a lot of money.
So what is so special about Emin's infamous installation?
'My Bed,' which was created in 1998 and shortlisted in autumn 1999 for the Turner Prize, is exactly what it is called, the bed of the 50 year-old artist that she claims to have spent a full week in after going through a unpleasant breakup, leaving her depressed.
The controversial ensemble is surrounded by empty Vodka bottles, cigarette buds, a pair of knickers with menstrual period stains, and pregnancy tests. Everyday items such as slippers and a newspaper are also present.
The purpose of 'My Bed' is to tell a story, a very tragic confession by Emin, critiquing her own slutty past and flaws, as well as highlighting the unappealing contexts of sexual expectations.
Ben Lewis of the London Evening Standard also thought, "It's a shocking symbol of female sexual desire, and totally of its time: an emblem of a new kind of feminism emerging from the trendy academic discipline of gender studies, in which pornography, sexual violence and voyeurism are not necessarily sexist, male and exploitative."
However as Emin made the piece over 16 years ago, she recently expressed how distant she now feels from 'My bed,' calling it a "time-capsule."
"It is half like a crime scene, but half like a diary," she said to Jeremy Paxman on BBC's News Night. "Nearly everything I'm touching is a million miles away from me now, it's like a time-capsule of my life really."
'My Bed' is currently owned by noted art collector, and Nigella Lawson's ex-husband, Charles Saatchi, he bought it from Tracey for £150,000 (around $250,650) after they met in 2000 in a Mayfair café.