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Is This Really Art

(48 Posts)
Paula8 Fri 27-Jun-14 18:49:22

An un made bed has a price tag of £800,000

Tracey Emin My bed

This is crazy, its just an un tidy un made bed, why would it be worth that kind of money??

I feel bad when I havent nade my bed!

Anne58 Fri 27-Jun-14 19:50:57

Old news, I think Paula8, but I expect you have other things to focus on.

You have put this on "ask a gran" which is sort of understandable, but I think (maybe wrong, often am) that there is a dedicated thread/topic title for art/culture.

(what would I know, I seem only to post on work & volunteering and the occasional other threads, even had to report myself for starting a thread in the wrong place! blush But did penance with the withholding of cake! grin

Elegran Fri 27-Jun-14 20:17:27

Yes, there is Phoenix It is at

Has Tracy Emin not sold that bed yet? It was in 1999 that it was exhibited at the Tate Gallery as one of the shortlisted works for the Turner Prize. It won't be getting any sweeter with keeping.

Soutra Fri 27-Jun-14 20:23:22

2 observations if I may;
1) What is art ? Huge question. Why do pieces whch w would at best have stuck on the fridge when our little ones brought them back from playgroup, command huge prices? Basically art is a commodity, an investment.
2) don't blame Emin- when she won the Turner prize in 1999 it was bought by our least favourite man Charles Saatchi and he is now selling it for £800,000 to £1 m. To all who say "I could do that" all I can suggest is that you do but don't be surprised if nobody is interested. It is the name that sells.

Mishap Fri 27-Jun-14 20:23:52

Many years ago, when this first arose, I was running a photography course for elderly people and we were to put on a public exhibition with one photo from each participant. One old lady (at least 82 I would think) decided that she would photograph her unmade bed, and even got her GS to provide a packet of condoms for the bedside table - what a lady!!

She also told me an extraordinary wartime tale about her and her boyfriend and another couple going to stay in London for the weekend. Condoms were not disposable then - you washed them and used them again. It seems they only had one between the two couples so one couple had to wait till the other had done the deed, and then the condom (washed by then I hope!!) was passed on to them!

And we thought we were liberated in the swinging 60s!!!

Anne58 Fri 27-Jun-14 22:17:11

Mishap yuk, yuk and double yuk!

Soutra you are right in that it is the name that sells, but at the risk of sounding a bit "chicken and egg" how does the name become a name?

Grannyknot Fri 27-Jun-14 23:05:21

I think the Tracey Enim bed is back in the news because it is up for sale (by Charles Saatchi). I've actually seen it and it was just a grubby, grotty, messy ... bed.

Perhaps it did have some shock value initially, what with discarded tampons lying around and being strewn with dirty knickers. But art? I don't think so.

Grannyknot Fri 27-Jun-14 23:07:07

Mishap shock

Grannyknot Fri 27-Jun-14 23:11:26

Phoenix I agree, who or what decides that someone is a "name"? And it's a bit "Emperor's new clothes" too, because once someone is a "name" everyone oohs and aahs no matter what [email protected] they churn out. Don't get me started on the neons.

Eloethan Fri 27-Jun-14 23:38:24

It's hard to define what art is so I suppose the unmade bed can be described as such.

I think the idea was interesting but I really can't understand why anyone would pay a large amount of money for an "idea" that can be easily replicated.

Iam64 Sat 28-Jun-14 08:43:04

I was converted into becoming a bit of a Tracey Emin fan after enjoying an exhibition including her work at Tate Liverpool. It was the video she made of Margate, that includes her dancing to music that did it.

Liverpool Tate had a Stanley Spencer exhibition running on a different floor, at the same time as the Tracey one. I agree with Soutra - what is art? Whilst I did enjoy Tracey's work, Stanley Spencer, well, I considered that to be art (proper art, such skill, such depth etc etc) And, I wouldn't want TE unmade bed if I had a spare 800,000 but the notion of having a Stanley Spencer, or a Grayson Perry is something I could relish.

sunseeker Sat 28-Jun-14 09:18:07

Different people have different views of art. I would not give Tracey Emin or Damian Hirst house room - but Banksy is another matter, whereas some people consider his work to be vandalism.

Mishap Sat 28-Jun-14 09:24:47

Banksy is a skilled artist - it just where he chooses to do it that causes the problem for some. As well as being able to draw he has wit and humour.

What Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst do can be interesting - that does not make it art.

Anne58 Sat 28-Jun-14 09:52:26

Tracey Emin has done some rather good drawings, but these never seem to get the attention that some of her other work does.

HollyDaze Sat 28-Jun-14 09:55:30

It is down to what the viewer considers art. I quite like some of Banksy's work and I quite like some of the street art ( - for anyone who hasn't seen it before) - it can be very, very good (artistically). Too much of it though and it just ends up looking like graffiti.

petallus Sat 28-Jun-14 10:42:27

Iam64 I saw that TE exhibition when it was in London, and loved three quarters of it including the dancing video. I am now going to attempt to post an article in the Guardian today on why the Unmade Bed is art.

petallus Sat 28-Jun-14 10:44:27

janerowena Sat 28-Jun-14 12:02:40

Art is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. MiL is an artist, quite a good one too. She gives lectures all over the world, and she is always telling me that Art is something that makes you think.

We went through a huge hall in the Louvre that was displaying war scenes, vast canvasses of fighting men. Dreadful things, I'd rather have the bed!

Maggiemaybe Sat 28-Jun-14 12:24:26

I think your MiL's definition is a very good one, janerowena. We can't all like the same things, but if a piece of art captures our imagination, it's done its job. For me, the answer to anyone who says "I could have done that" is "But you didn't".

janerowena Sat 28-Jun-14 12:32:06

I say that too - even to MiL! grin

feetlebaum Sat 28-Jun-14 14:53:12

That's because they had more sense, or better taste!

Grannyknot Sat 28-Jun-14 15:47:08

petal read the article and nope, still not sold on it.

feetle good riposte grin

petallus Sat 28-Jun-14 16:16:56

Well, I wasn't trying to convince anybody but I thought it was interesting to read how someone who did like the piece justified it as art, for them.

Grannyknot Sat 28-Jun-14 17:21:17

hi petallus I understand. I didn't mean to sound sharp, sorry if my response did.

Mishap Sat 28-Jun-14 17:32:29

I don't necessarily think that art should make you think - sometimes it just makes you feel good.