Tracey Emin quotes: Media coverage— unity and variety (2009)

Have you ever seen an artist stitch quotes through UK media? Nobody does it better than Tracey...

Tracey Emin quotes

It is a very unusual person indeed who spends three days solid flippings through binder after binder of Tracey Emin’s media coverage. But such was the case last summer for the editor of Art Design Publicity.

In fact, there were so many binders at Tracey Emin’s gallery White Cube, that I had to count them. There were 45 thick ones filled with media gems— this took three days to flip through. There were even 45 additional ones focused on her "mentions"— secondary articles mentioning Tracey in fashion magazines in some way, et cetera, et cetera across diversified media outlets.

After three days though, I couldn’t take anymore and had to give up.

But one of the surprises in my research were the series of pages documenting placements of a "Tracey quote". I recall these started to appear after she was shortlisted for the UK’s Turner Prize, and the media art, I mean, media coverage soared. Tracey says "this" in one newspaper, and it appeared in another newspaper—and then another.

I admit I had never before taken much notice of these, uh, media interventions. And they may not be in searchable indices. How are the quotes distributed to— and selected by— the editors? Does Tracey Emin say all of the quotes herself— or does a PR-oriented copywriter propose them, and she approves them? Or does someone else on Team Emin approve them? These are all mysteries at Art Design Publicity.

But one thing is certain: Tracey Emin— and her team— know how to play Warhol-like unity and variety. To non-art specialists, this means "elements of sameness, but one or more noticeable differences, sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle". For Andy Warhol, this was by changing the color of an element across a multiplied image for example. For Tracey however, newspaper and magazine media across the UK is indeed one of her “canvases”. And when it comes to art in the age of mass media, does anyone give better quotes than Tracey?

See below the four examples (of tens, if not hundreds) showing Tracey Emin playing media unity— and variety— across the UK.



Tracey Emin on serious art criticism


"I don’t mind serious art criticism but you can’t attack me and my work by accusing me of being a publicity seeker. That really winds me up."

— Tracey Emin in The Observer, 27 Oct 2002.


"I don’t mind serious art criticism but you can’t attack me and my work by accusing me of being a publicity seeker. That really winds me up."

— Tracey Emin in The Sunday Telegraph, 22 Dec 2002.


"I don’t mind serious art criticism but you can’t attack me and my work by accusing me of being a publicity seeker. That really winds me up."

— Tracey Emin in The Illustrated London News, Dec 2002.



Tracey Emin on art


"If I say it isn’t art, then it isn’t art."

— Tracey Emin in the Belfast Telegraph, 28 Oct 2002.


"If I say it isn’t art, then it isn’t art."

— Tracey Emin in the The Press & Journal (Aberdeen Edition), 29 Oct 2002.


"If I say it isn’t art, then it isn’t art."

— Tracey Emin in the Bath Chronicle, 29 Oct 2002.


"If I say it isn’t art, then it isn’t art."

— Tracey Emin in the Birmingham Post (City Edition), 29 Oct 2002.


"If I say it isn’t art, then it isn’t art."

— Tracey Emin in the Daily Express, 29 Oct 2002.


"If I say it isn’t art, then it isn’t art."

— Tracey Emin in the Evening Post (Bristol Final), 29 Oct 2002.


"If I say it isn’t art, then it isn’t art."

— Tracey Emin in the Yorkshire Post (North Yorkshire Edition), 2 Nov 2002.


"If I say it isn’t art, then it isn’t art."

— Tracey Emin in the Daily Star, 2 Nov 2002.


"If I say it isn’t art, then it isn’t art."

— Tracey Emin in the Sunday Herald, 3 Nov 2002.



Tracey Emin on sweet things


"Anyone that knows me well, knows that I adore sweet things. They don’t have to be pink and fluffy, just tiny, small furry things."

— Tracey Emin in Time Out, 6 Nov 2002.


"Anyone that knows me well, knows that I adore sweet things. They don’t have to be pink and fluffy, just tiny, small furry things. And it’s a strong part of my personality which has been suppressed for many years."

— Tracey Emin in The Sentinel (City Final), 13 Nov 2002.


"Anyone that knows me well, knows that I adore sweet things. They don’t have to be pink and fluffy, just tiny, small furry things. And it’s a strong part of my personality which has been suppressed for many years."

— Tracey Emin in Wigan Evening Post, 13 Nov 2002.


"Anyone that knows me well, knows that I adore sweet things. They don’t have to be pink and fluffy, just tiny, small furry things. And it’s a strong part of my personality which has been suppressed for many years."

— Tracey Emin in Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph, 13 Nov 2002.


"Anyone that knows me well, knows that I adore sweet things. They don’t have to be pink and fluffy, just tiny, small furry things. And it’s a strong part of my personality which has been suppressed for many years."

— Tracey Emin in The Press & Journal (Aberdeen Edition), 14 Nov 2002.


"Anyone that knows me well, knows that I adore sweet things. They don’t have to be pink and fluffy, just tiny, small furry things. And it’s a strong part of my personality which has been suppressed for many years."

— Tracey Emin in Bath Chronicle, 14 Nov 2002.


"Anyone that knows me well, knows that I adore sweet things. They don’t have to be pink and fluffy, just tiny, small furry things. And it’s a strong part of my personality which has been suppressed for many years."

— Tracey Emin in Daily Express, 14 Nov 2002.


"Anyone that knows me well, knows that I adore sweet things. They don’t have to be pink and fluffy, just tiny, small furry things. And it’s a strong part of my personality which has been suppressed for many years."

— Tracey Emin in The News (Portsmouth), 14 Nov 2002.


"Anyone that knows me well, knows that I adore sweet things. They don’t have to be pink and fluffy, just tiny, small furry things. And it’s a strong part of my personality which has been suppressed for many years."

— Tracey Emin in Evening Telegraph (Peterborough), 14 Nov 2002.


"Anyone that knows me well, knows that I adore sweet things. They don’t have to be pink and fluffy, just tiny, small furry things. And it’s a strong part of my personality which has been suppressed for many years."

— Tracey Emin in Lincolnshire Echo (Gainsborough Edition), 14 Nov 2002.



Tracey Emin on her bed


"It looks brilliant. He’s got [My Bed] in the silver room, surrounded by silver goblets, silver trays and silver plates. It’s on a beautiful Persian rug. The whole thing looks totally baroque and mad."

— Tracey Emin in the Evening Standard (West End Final), 13 Nov 2002. At the time, My Bed was installed in Charles Saatchi’s home.


"It looks brilliant. He’s got it in the silver room, surrounded by silver goblets, silver trays and silver plates. It’s on a beautiful Persian rug. The whole thing looks totally baroque and mad."

— Tracey Emin in the The Independent (Business & Sport), 14 Nov 2002.


"It looks brilliant. He’s got it in the silver room, surrounded by silver goblets, silver trays and silver plates. It’s on a beautiful Persian rug. The whole thing looks totally baroque and mad."

— Tracey Emin in the The Sentinel (Moorlands), 14 Nov 2002.


"It looks brilliant. He’s got it in the silver room, surrounded by silver goblets, silver trays and silver plates. It’s on a beautiful Persian rug. The whole thing looks totally baroque and mad."

— Tracey Emin in the Evening Telegraph (Peterborough), 15 Nov 2002.


"It looks brilliant. He’s got it in the silver room, surrounded by silver goblets, silver trays and silver plates. It’s on a beautiful Persian rug. The whole thing looks totally baroque and mad."

— Tracey Emin in the Bath Chronicle, 15 Nov 2002.


"It looks brilliant. He’s got it in the silver room, surrounded by silver goblets, silver trays and silver plates. It’s on a beautiful Persian rug. The whole thing looks totally baroque and mad."

— Tracey Emin in the Wrexham Evening Leader, 15 Nov 2002.


"It looks brilliant. He’s got it in the silver room, surrounded by silver goblets, silver trays and silver plates. It’s on a beautiful Persian rug. The whole thing looks totally baroque and mad."

— Tracey Emin in the The Press & Journal (Aberdeen Edition), 15 Nov 2002.