Tracey Emin’s Dirty Bed Sold for £2.2 Million at Auction
This really could be ‘the end of an era’. Tracey Emin’s controversial My Bed modern artwork has sold at Christie’s auction for £2.2 million (3,77 million). The controversial work, which features an unmade bed and a littered floor including empty vodka bottles, cigarette butts, pregnancy tests and discarded condoms, was made in Emin’s Waterloo council flat in 1998. It documents the artist’s traumatic relationship breakdown when she didn’t get out of bed for four days, depressed. Then she took her dirty bed and turned it into ne of Britain’s most famous and polarising pieces of modern art.
The 1999 Turner Prize shortlisted work was first purchased by millionaire art collector Charles Saatchi in 2000 for just £150,000 ($257,000), an amount that was far less than the pre-sale estimated price of between £800,000 ($1,37 million) and £1.2 million ($2 million).
The work is arguably Emin’s best-known, rivaled only by ‘Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995,’ a tent whose interior she appliquéd with the names of everyone whose bed she had ever shared, sexually or platonically. That work, also acquired by Saatchi, was destroyed in the Momart warehouse fire in London in 2004.