I thought it would be appropriate to feature Tracey Emin today, seeing it's V Day, for all you single people (and perhaps coupled) who have had a string of bad relationships and have worn your heart on your sleeve that one too many times. Emin has created many works in pink but I wanted to focus on her neon pieces and have added some of her collection of pink neons at the bottom of this post.
Before Facebook updates, tweets on Twitter or even blogging, we had Tracey Emin. Described as a Post Feminist artist, Emins practice is autobiographical, re creating her own life experiences as instantaneously as social media allows us to do today. Through the use of needlework, sculpture, drawing, video, installation, photography and painting, this trashy diva of the English artworld wears her heart on her sleeve in bold text for us all to see. She is spoken about as being difficult, demanding, vile and down right disgusting. Gotta love the description of the difficult art star!!!
Her work is confronting, sometimes disgusting and very melodramatic portraying a craving to be loved. She takes from her life parts of her own very personal and very specific experiences to create works based on words she may have said, or words others may have spoken to her. The result is a sense of the universal pain and vulnerability that comes with love, which we can all relate to. We do say things or hear things about ourselves and others, that we do not allow or would never consider, to pass our lips again. In short and simple statements and sometimes obvious quotes, her work becomes guttural through the use of text, hitting us were it hurts so to speak.
Emotionally charged, there is no mistaking that this is a hurt, burnt, trashed on woman who has created these works. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. We feel that same emotion she felt when creating the work and we feel it as if it is our own. We can relate to these works because we have felt the pain of them, we have felt the desperateness that exists within them. Raw and open wounds are presented to us, making us feel like a voyeur into another persons private and emotional life, but whose life is it that we are really voyaging in to through experiencing Emins work?
As Andy Warhol predicted in the 60's, "In the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes", the array of social networking sites today, and as time goes by, we are certainly seeing this more and more. We are even widening our own individual boundaries to share with the world how we are feeling at this very moment. These social networks are allowing us to project onto the world our own autobiographies, instantly, as they are happening right now, from where we are eating dinner to how we are feeling. One must remember Tracey Emin was doing this before social media became what it is today. I wonder if she ever thought that through her work, she may have been predicting that we too will be 'spilling our guts' out onto the world our very personal and very specific life experiences.