Tracey Emin’s unmade, My Bed, 1998 goes under the hammer at Christie’s tomorrow and is expected to realise in excess of £1m. The piece of installation art, which includes dirty knickers, used condoms and empty booze bottles exemplifies Tracey at her wild-child best. The sculpture is being sold by the art dealer Charles Saatchi to raise funds for his gallery’s educational department. The work was bought for £150,000 in 2000, a year after the artist had been shortlisted for the Tate’s prestigious Turner Prize.
Emin, who says that Saatchi contacted her “a long time ago” to let her know his plans, says that she is “philosophical” about such an “iconic” work being auctioned for “the first, and I hope last, time”. Saatchi sold a later, four-poster version of Emin’s bed To Meet My Past, 2002 in November, also through Christie’s, where it sold for £481,875.
Emin ‘hopes’ her unmade bed, will end up in a museum in the UK, when sold. “I have no idea where it’s going to end up – or how much anyone is going to pay for it.” the artist stated at a press conference. “I can’t really come to the reality of the situation that it’s moved and gone so far. Now to see it in Christie’s is a really surreal experience.” “When I made the bed today I actually had to get in and pull the duvet over me and then push it back to make it feel and look real. Even the smell is all still there for me. It’s very evocative.” She added: “Even though Charles has had this bed for so long, it’s now going on a different journey. Let’s hope it goes to a really nice place – it’s helped me a lot.”