British artist Tracey Emin
(b.1963) is a member of the Young British Artists
, best known for her evocative autobiographical installations and multimedia works. Born in London, Emin studied at the Maidstone College of Art and at the Royal College of Art in her home city. Alongside artist Sarah Lucas
(British, b.1962) in 1993, Emin opened The Shop, where she and Lucas exhibited and sold their work. The next year, Emin held her first solo exhibition, brazenly titled My Major Retrospective
, and exhibited her work in the next few years in a gallery called The Tracey Emin Museum.
Emin’s work and her public presentation are frequently provocative and self-referential; in works ranging from installations of neon phrases to painting, photography, film, performance, and hand-embroidered tapestries, she consistently illustrates her own experiences and emotions in intense, intimate engagements with the viewer. Emin’s piece Everyone I Have Ever Slept With, 1963–1995
, chronicles every person she ever literally slept next to, from lovers and family to her own unborn children. A similar work titled My Bed
, is an installation of her bed, covered in condoms, stains, and cigarettes as it appeared during a time of emotional trauma, evoking the most essential and universal of human emotions. While she has received significant critical attention for her work, Emin’s unabashed presentations of her work as well as her public persona evoke both positive and negative attention from the general public. In 1999, she was nominated for the Turner Prize, and represented Britain in 2004 at the Venice Biennale. Emin currently lives and works in London.