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Tracy Emin - could someone please explain

(43 Posts)
kittylester Wed 18-Jul-12 15:58:14

We have just been to the Turner Contemporary in Margate. There were lots of earnest people peering at what looked to me like vaguely recognisable scribbles. Please can someone explain what makes it art? confused

AlisonMA Wed 18-Jul-12 16:02:52

Definitely not!

whenim64 Wed 18-Jul-12 16:04:54

Dunno! Some of her art is fabulous and she is obviouly well trained, but her concept art stumps me. I believe she is now a professor of what she describes as 'drawing!'

AlisonMA Wed 18-Jul-12 16:13:35

I am sure someone will come up with a clever sounding explanation to define art but she is not my cup of tea.

Annobel Wed 18-Jul-12 16:17:59

I saw her on TV, doing some of her 'drawings' which just looked like doodles. However, I assume that some gullible collectors would pay a small fortune for her doodles!

soop Wed 18-Jul-12 16:30:23

In a word, kitty...Nah!

soop Wed 18-Jul-12 16:32:33

Our wee grandson's bib, on the other hand, that's more like a work of art - especially when he's been eating pasta grin

JessM Wed 18-Jul-12 16:43:05

Blooming great marketing in her case I think.
She did one of the "olympic posters" - hopeless, along with most of rest. My D neice, just completing masters in modern art said "hmm, none of them are graphic artists - so why were they asked to do posters?"

But she also wisely observed, when we visited the modern sculpture exhibition at Waddeson - that it was just a case of whether you like it or not.
I personally liked the photos I took of her lying next to the Gormley man. I will try to upload some later maybe. I think my photo is Art.

JessM Wed 18-Jul-12 16:58:35

Oh, I managed it. Look on my profile photos. One of my better photographic moments.

Annobel Wed 18-Jul-12 17:06:50

Something has gone wrong - no pictures on your profile page except one of you. hmm

JessM Wed 18-Jul-12 18:14:27

Try again. I can see them. One of me and one of DN and the Gormley.

JessM Wed 18-Jul-12 18:15:17

I guess in fairness TE has put Margate on the map. Which is probably a good thing if you live there.

Annobel Wed 18-Jul-12 19:09:53

Got it now, Jess. Clever idea. smile

gracesmum Wed 18-Jul-12 20:02:52

Why does the phrase "The emperor's new clothes" spring to mind?
I have to be very careful to remain non-committal as DD2 and future SIL are artists, DD2's boyfriend/partner is a sculptor - so opinions like "What a load of pretentious rubbish" or even "What?"have to remain firmly unarticulated!

kittylester Thu 19-Jul-12 05:45:20

That was exactly the phrase I used gracesmum. We have a few artists in our family too but most agree with us! I think the point made by Jess hits the nail on the head. I'm glad its not just me!

petallus Thu 19-Jul-12 08:38:16

I went to Tracy Emin's Exhibition in London some months ago and experienced a strong emotional response to a lot of it. I'm a great fan and I really admire what she has made of her life from such an awful start.

The classical conservative art establishment hates people like her; Brian Sewell wrote a vitriolic article about her stuff.

Not really qualified to judge her drawings. She is certainly not the only one who can do a squiggle of a few lines and find it selling for a lot of money. Picasso springs to mind. And what about that bloke who just fills his canvas with a couple of colours - er can't think of his name at the moment, Lothko or something.

JessM Thu 19-Jul-12 08:53:30

For anyone in the northern home counties I do recommend a trip to Waddeson near Aylesbury where you will see a wide range of recent Brit sculpture this summer, in great surroundings. (as in photo) If you have never seen a Damien Hurst bisected pig, then now is you chance for instance. Being an ex science teacher, I just wanted to label it.
I suspect a number of pieces looked a lot better in the outdoors rather than in a london gallery.
The pig was not outdoors.

JessM Thu 19-Jul-12 08:53:52


Bags Thu 19-Jul-12 11:48:35

Happy that TE has made something of her life. Happy for anyone to do that. But I have yet to see a decent, let alone skilful drawing by her. Emperor's new clothes, yes. As a friend of mine said, art school's don't teach youbhow to draw anymore, they teach you how to sell anything you churn out.

Bags Thu 19-Jul-12 11:49:20

oh DAMN! I've got apostrophe-itis again. Sorry!

Butternut Thu 19-Jul-12 12:37:08

Mark Rothko, petallus - I love most of his work. Have a print of the Untitled (Yellow and Orange) 1954 framed on my bedroom wall. It is a delight.

I am not a fan of Brian Sewell - he really can have a nasty turn of phrase.

feetlebaum Thu 19-Jul-12 12:46:47

The only trouble with Brian Sewell is that he knows what he's talking about.

More power to his waspish tongue, say I!

petallus Thu 19-Jul-12 13:25:28

But surely there's a place for conceptual art?

crimson Thu 19-Jul-12 13:49:06

By the time Picasso was a teenager he could draw so well it's as if there was nowhere else to go other than abstract. I'm not sure what skills Rothko had artistically but [I'm repeating what I wrote on another thread] lots of people try to 'do a Rothko' because it looks easy. They can't. Looking at a Rothko painting, all of my cares just drift away. How he did that, given that he suffered from depression and, I believe commited suicide is beyond me. Easy to paint a beautiful picture and make the viewer 'feel' something; far more difficult to do that with an abstract painting [possibly just as comedy is far more difficult than drama]. As for Tracey Emin, her work has never made me feel anything, although I must admit to not seeing much of it[ I did like her in the family tree programme, though]. I do think there's a place for conceptual art,; a way of making us look at things differently [or actually just LOOK at something]. Perhaps it should have been given a different name withought using the word 'art' which makes one assume that the 'artist' can draw rather well.Like Rothko it's not as easy as it looks; what can any of us come up with as a piece of conceptual art; when I try to do that my mind just goes blank [nothing new there then wink].

Bags Thu 19-Jul-12 13:59:07

I like your way of putting it, crimson. Perhaps it is something childlike that they achieve? I do like DD's early drawings.

However, I also liked what feetle said. I know nothing about Rothko (had a look at images of his paintings just now and found they were not to my taste) or Brian Sewell (read an article about him), but I do like incisive writing, and I'm certain that a lot of bullshit is written about art. I've always felt it was a deliberate ploy to make people feel inferior if they didn't "understand" some weird piece of "conceptual" art, and I've always felt that that is rather a nasty ploy.