BBC Radio 4’s Today Show staff just might think so
YBA Artist, Tracey Emin has guest edited BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning. It featured a reminiscence of her hometown, Margate, the economic importance of art, and whether people still aspire to be teachers. It also made clear her politics and views of how the coalition government has been handling their policy on cuts to the arts. “For the arts, she lamented in reference to the DCMS’s policies; “it’s doing quite good actually, but we are in this time of austerity and everything’s being cut and there isn’t any money.” The 48 year old said: “I voted as an individual. I live in a democracy. I’m allowed to vote for what I want and I wish people would understand that.”She stated that; “I don’t mind. I’ll stick my head above the parapet. Targets are for shooting at.” Admitting she had twice voted Conservative, once for Boris Johnson and once for David Cameron, who she recently donated one of her neon works of art, titled “More Passion”. Earlier this year fellow artist Dinos Chapman,described her politics as nothing short of “criminal”. Emin has pointed out that some people had been “really abusive” about her politics. She admitted to radio 4 “The world I live in, people never vote Tory – especially within the art world – so I am a bit of an outsider on that one,” Ceri Thomas, editor of Today, said: “The wonderful thing about the guest editors is that they bring us new thoughts and perspectives.” The production team had warned presenter Justin Webb that she should not be allowed on the programme as she was a “Tory stooge”.
Tracey Emin is one of the UK’s most renowned and celebrated artists. Emerging in the 90s as one of the Young British Artists, her confessional and often brutal work draws on her own experiences of love, sex, rape, abortion and loss. Emin earned a master’s degree at the Royal College of Art and first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1997 with one of her best-known works, a tent embroidered with the name of Everyone I Have Slept With 1963-1995.
She is one of Britain’s highest profile contemporary artists. It was revealed a month ago that she had been appointed as the new Professor of Drawing at London’s prestigious Royal Academy, the country’s oldest art school. The General Assembly of Royal Academicians (RAs) an exclusive club of sculptors, architects, printmakers and painters have supported the decision. However the appointment of the artist is somewhat controversial: most famous for the works Everyone I Have Ever Slept With (a tent embroidered with the names of everyone she had ever sleepy with), and My Bed (her unmade bed, surrounded by grimy detritus), Emin is not your typical fine arts academician – and perhaps an odd choice of a professor of drawing. Figurative painter Diana Armfield, for instance, complained to the Times that she ‘wouldn’t have thought that her talents were that way, while conceding that Emin’s scrawling works on paper ‘I suppose are drawings’. And she may have a point that Emin’s draughtsmanship lacks the formal skill of former post-holders – from William Turner, and John Constable, to William Blake.