Mad Tracey from Margate: who is raw artist Tracey Emin?

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The new Sky documentary Mad Tracey from Margate follows the life and work of renowned British artist Tracey Emin

Sky Arts documentary May Tracey from Margate chronicles the life of one of Britain’s most famous and controversial artists.

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Emin has created a distinctive artistic style that feeds on her own life experiences and trauma, and her work sells for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

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Artist Tracey Emin

But who is Tracey Emin, what are her most famous works and when will the documentary be on TV? Here’s everything you need to know:

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Who is Tracey Emin?

Tracey Emin is a 59-year-old British artist best known for her autobiographical artworks and exhibitions.

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Emin works in various artistic forms including drawing, painting, film, applique and sculpture.

She was born in Croydon and grew up in Margate, Kent, with her twin brother Paul.

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She was raped when she was 13 and still living in Margate, and much of her work has been analyzed in the context of childhood sexual trauma.

Her well-known installations include Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995, a tent with the names of everyone she’s ever slept with on it.

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The artwork was destroyed in a warehouse fire in 2004 and Emin has refused to recreate the piece.

Another artwork, My Bed – an installation of Emin’s own unmade dirty bed, in which she slept for several weeks during an emotionally turbulent time – featured used condoms and stained underwear.

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Everyone I’ve Sleeped With by Tracey Emin

My Bed is Tracey Emin’s most expensive piece, fetching £2.5million at auction in 2014 – more than double its estimate.

Emin is not married, has no children and is currently single. However, in 2016, she reportedly married a rocker. Emin said that the rock is a metaphor for what she would rather live with.

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She told The Art Newspaper: “It just means I’m not alone at the moment; Somewhere on a hill overlooking the sea there is a very beautiful old stone that leads nowhere. It will be there waiting for me.”

In 2020, she was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma and underwent surgery to remove her bladder. She had to have an ostomy and is now in remission.

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What else is Tracey Emin known for?

Emin has been heavily involved in charity work throughout her career – raising over £1million for charities including NSPCC Terrence Higgins Trust.

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She has donated several of her own original pieces to charity auctions and has even acted as auctioneer on a few occasions.

One of the items she donated, a blanket she hand-sewn called Star Trek Voyager, was auctioned off at Elton John’s White Tie & Tiara Ball, raising £800,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

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What is Mad Tracey from Margate about?

The documentary will explore the influences on Emin’s life and artistic style, and examine some of the more controversial works of her career.

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Interviews with her friends reveal Emin’s personality more clearly and provide more context to understand the thought process behind her art.

Other people in Emin’s life who have their say in the documentary include former teachers, fellow artists and critics.

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It also features the artist herself, who reveals how she came to be known as a “crazy” artist.

When is Mad Tracey from Margate on TV?

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The documentary will air July 26 at 7 p.m. on Sky Arts. To be seen on Sky Channel 11.

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