I Dream of Sleep, 2002

Photo: Stephen White, 2012 | Courtesy Jay Jopling | White Cube (London)

Blue neon
60 x 120 x 6 cm

Tracey Emin's art is confessional, manifested in a rich variety of media and unprecedented in its frankness and unsparing self-examination. Her work is often highly confrontational, but retains an air of lightness through its honesty, good humor, self-awareness, poeticism and ultimate innocence. Although Emin relentlessly interrogates the minutiae of her own life, she simultaneously addresses issues that are common to all, such as sexuality, mortality and the search for meaning in life. Furthermore, the artist shares a preoccupation with the question of what it means to be an artist with several prominent artists of the past. Emin's art is one of disclosure as the artist incorporates details of her life events into works ranging from story telling, drawing, filmmaking, installation, painting, neon, photography, appliqued blankets and sculpture. Emin thereby exposes herself- her hopes, humiliations, failures and successes in an incredibly direct manner. Often tragic and frequently humorous, it seems that by telling her story and weaving it into the fiction of her art the artist somehow transforms it. The first of Emin's series of neon pieces made in 1996 was described by critic Neal Brown as, "molten autography [in] pure candy floss colored light".

*1963 in London, United Kingdom | Living and working in London, United Kingdom