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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 April, 2004, 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK
Emin attacks press 'lies'
Tracey Emin with her sheet, I Think It Must Have Been Fear
Emin's work is highly autobiographical
Artist Tracey Emin has attacked a number of newspapers for making up "lies" about her.

Emin, whose work often very publicly depicts her emotions, is one of Britain's most high-profile young artists, although attention has often been focused as much on her party lifestyle as her exhibitions.

She said that she did not fear the loss of her private life through her work, but was very angry at the way she was treated in the press.

"There are things in the papers that aren't true, for example, and they really get my back up," Emin told BBC World Service's Masterpiece programme.

"That's an invasion of my privacy. If I muck up, I'm going to be one of the first people to say. I don't need a paper to write lies about me, to say that I've done something that I haven't done."

Strong emotions

Emin added that some other artists had told her this was "part of the territory," but she disagreed.

"That's like saying 'she wore a mini-skirt so she deserved it'," she said.

She also said that her "story" was very easy for people to understand and for journalists to write about, whereas other, more complicated artists escaped such attention.

Tracey Emin
I fit in with the psyche of the nation
Tracey Emin
She added that these artists "don't look like very much, that's why their art is their vehicle".

While some critics have hailed Emin as an outstanding artist who speaks with unique intensity, she has also been disparaged as an untalented self-publicist.

Her artwork is extremely autobiographical and highly controversial. Much of it stems from deeply personal experiences, including being raped as a teenager. Her Turner-prize nominated Bed was the place in which she contemplated suicide.

Her tent, "Everyone I have ever slept with 1963-5", has 102 names sewn onto the sides including her lovers, her aborted foetuses and relatives she slept with as a child.

And she was recently involved in a row with a north London school over ownership of a blanket she made together with children there.

Emin said that she simply uses art to express her feelings.

Many people had done this throughout history, she added, but what made her different was she was "successful": "I fit in with the psyche of the nation".

"Whatever is happening in history at the moment, I fit in very well with."

"There's going to come a time when I won't always fit in with history. I'll be out of fashion - but I'll be an old lady by then."

She even said if she stopped making art she would become "psychologically unhinged".

'I Want An International Lover'

Emin began her artistic career as a painter, although she is now more famous for other artwork.

But she said she still liked the immediacy of painting, and the fact that a piece she started in the daytime could be finished by the early hours of next morning.

Tracey Emin's Bed
Emin's most famous work is her unmade bed
Other work would require six months or more, she said, adding that painting gave her "that Galileo moment - 'genius, I'm a genius'... it's a way to get rid of a lot of that creative angst," she said.

"I'm still a raving expressionist at heart."

However, she said her next work would be another blanket.

"At the moment, I want to make something that says, 'I Want An International Lover And I Want Them To Love Me More Than The World'," she explained.

"This won't work in neon, because it's too big - and also, because I'm using the words 'lover' and 'world', it will be too much like an advertisement."

"What I want to get across is the sentiment. So for a blanket it works brilliantly, because that is enough - one blanket, and then Tracey Emin 2004. That is what I want, and I want it now."

"I'm making a request, a demand to the world, and I'm using my art to make it."


SEE ALSO:
Emin pays to show school's quilt
06 Apr 04  |  London
Artist Emin joins Christian show
12 Jan 04  |  Entertainment
Art boss attacks Saatchi artists
02 Apr 03  |  Entertainment
Emin's end of the pier show
07 Nov 02  |  Entertainment


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