Tracey Emin was either hostile or manipulative in her early conceptual works - but the ’‘Unmadebed’ got so much bad press that she became a heroine/anti-heroine over night.
Her narrative courted public opinion in Britain like no other YBA of the 1990’s. We were subjected to feeling vulnerable and horrified at her brazen self-opinionisation. She encapsulated the 1990’s zeitgeist in Britain. Furthermore, she had the guts and the audacity to invite us into a world of sleeze and vulgarisation that this goddess of past torment and victorious ‘Get out of my face’, took a look’ at the underbelly of British class, gender and racial tension and pain .’
I don’t know of any previous woman artist who would scandalise the BBC programme’ Question Time’ with her drunken forthright honesty. She was the bad mad women of Margate to the Press, who only got shoved off the tabloids if Diana Princess of Wales was once again harangued by the paparazzi. In fact the only step she could then take was to horrify the purists and her ‘ziggy stardust’ image for rebels at the same time, when she became a Professor in Drawing at some Institution of British art.
Tracey Emin, it’s not just what happens next that I look forward to.