This once-edgy shock artist burst onto the art scene in the 1990s with an exhibit featuring the bed she had stayed in for days, complete with soiled sheets, discarded panties, condoms and empty liquor bottles.
It must have worked, because “The Bed” launched Tracey’ Emin’s career, and today the work has achieved “iconic status” and is exhibited in London’s Tate Britain Museum alongside those of revered British artists from the past 500 years, reported the London Telegraph.
The last time it sold at Christie’s, “The Bed” went for more than $3 million.
But even trendy artists have to settle down one day, and Emin has announced this week she now has.
With a rock.
Emin, who is opening a new exhibition in China, told the Art Newspaper she “married” a large stone in France last summer. The bride wore her father’s white funeral shroud as her wedding gown.
“It’s in my garden, it’s very nice and impressive. I like it a lot,” she said.
“It just means that at the moment I am not alone; somewhere on a hill facing the sea, there is a very beautiful ancient stone, and it’s not going anywhere. It will be there, waiting for me.”
“Even if there’s the biggest tsunami in the whole world, the stone will probably still stay there,” Emin told the Post in another interview.
“Maybe it’s not a person. But maybe it’s an anchor for me, something I can identify with. No matter how mad my life might be or what may happen, that stone is stability and comfort.”
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The London Guardian hailed Emin’s “marriage” as evidence of Emin’s “spiritual understanding of love”:
“It’s the latest act in a life that has prized intimacy and soulfulness over lust and the self over the body,” wrote the Guardian.
“Many artists (Picasso leaps to mind) are ecstatically carnal. Others are fascinated by invisible dimensions of experience that go beyond the body. Michelangelo sculpted the human body more powerfully than any other artist, yet earthly gratification was never his theme. His heroic, struggling, superhuman nudes are physical expressions of the soul itself.
“Tracey Emin too is an artist of the inner life, not the outer body. This may seem surprising since her art is so pungently located in a material world of unmade beds and, more recently, drawings and paintings of her own naked body. … In her more recent art, in a time of her life she describes as celibate, Emin is still more preoccupied with the soul, the invisible self – and the kind of love that lets the spirit soar.”
Visions of soaring spirits was not how news of Emin’s marriage was received by many, as a sampling of online comments shows:
“Wonder if she was between a rock and a hard place?” – Karina Hesketh
“Why is this article in the arts section? Don’t you have have to be an artist?” – IanHerts
“One day people will come to their senses and see what a waste of space all her crap is, how dumb people are to revere her.” – BagWhit
“I’m guessing that the rock is the thinker in the partnership?” – durhamlad
“Beyond parody!” – whyayeman
“I give it six months!” – Paulajay40
“Roughly translated, Emin was heard to say ‘Look at me! Look At Me! LOOK AT MEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!'” – PeteMK wrote: