Tracey Emin, CBE, RA (; born 1963) is an English artist known for her autobiographical and confessional artwork. Emin produces work in a variety of media including drawing, painting, sculpture, film, photography, neon text and sewn appliqué. Once the "enfant terrible" of the Young British Artists in the 1980s, Tracey Emin is now a Royal Academician of the Royal Academy of Arts.
In 1997, her work Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995, a tent appliquéd with the names of everyone the artist had ever shared a bed with was shown at Charles Saatchi's Sensation exhibition held at the Royal Academy in London. The same year, she gained considerable media exposure when she swore repeatedly in a state of drunkenness on a live discussion programme called The Death of Painting on British television.
In 1999, Emin had her first solo exhibition in the United States at Lehmann Maupin Gallery, entitled Every Part of Me's Bleeding. Later that year, she was a Turner Prize nominee and exhibited My Bed – a readymade installation, consisting of her own unmade dirty bed, in which she had spent several weeks drinking, smoking, eating, sleeping and having sexual intercourse while undergoing a period of severe emotional flux. The artwork featured used condoms and blood-stained underwear.
Emin is also a panellist and speaker: she has lectured at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney (2010), the Royal Academy of Arts (2008), and the Tate Britain in London (2005) about the links between creativity and autobiography, and the role of subjectivity and personal histories in constructing art. Emin's covers a variety of different media, including needlework and sculpture, drawing, video and installation, photography and painting.
In December 2011, she was appointed Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy; with Fiona Rae, she is one of the first two female professors since the Academy was founded in 1768.
Emin lives in Spitalfields, east London.
Artist as subject
Film and audio
The journalist journeys through East London to explore the artists who lived and worked there in the nineties
Tracey Emin talks about the emotional return of her controversial Turner Prize nominated work My Bed
Discover the story behind My Bed 1999 and why it was so controversial when it was first exhibited
TateShots explores Rob Pruitt's Flea Market, Tate Modern, 12-13 December 2009
As part of the YBA generation, Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas opened the 'The Shop' in 1993, a project created ...
Peter Blake talks to Tracey Emin
Peter Blake in conversation with Tracey Emin
Tracey takes on Venice at the British Pavilion
Tracey Emin in conversation with Tim Marlow
The label Young British Artists (YBAs) is applied to a loose group of British artists who began to exhibit together ...
Craft is a form of making which generally produces an object that has a function: such as something you can ...
One of Tracey Emin’s best known and most controversial works, My Bed, first made in 1998 and once in ...
A closer look at the life and work of the influential British artist Tracey Emin
With London Fashion Week starting today, what better time to pay homage to the fashionistas of the Tate Collection? Take ...
The pioneering feminist artist talks to Tate Etc.’s Mariko Finch about her 1977 piece Homeworkers, a politically potent work ...
Lewis Carroll demonstrated how inventive one could be with words and their meanings. Since the 1960s artists such as Mel Bochner ...
The body matters, more than at any other time in history. As Abi Titmuss appears in a Sapphic embrace on ...