TRACEY EMIN "LITTLE BIRD" LITHOGRAPH, 2015
Tracey Emin (b.1963) is a British artist best known for her autobiographical artworks. Once considered an "enfant terrible" of the English art world, her work is now recognized within the canon of art history and feminist art. She is internationally renowned as a prominent member of the Young British Artists (YBAs).
Emin established her reputation in the mid-90's. Notably, with "Everyone I Ever Slept With 1963-1995" which consisted of a blue tent with the appliquéd names of every person she'd slept with. Shown at the legendary exhibition Sensation in London, the work provoked significant media criticism. Today it's hailed as one of the most iconic feminist art works of the late twentieth century.
In 1999, Emin was honoured with a nomination for the prestigious Turner Prize. As part of the nominees' exhibition at the Tate Gallery, she showed the controversial "My Bed". This legendary sculpture/installation featured a bed Emin had stayed in for days after a breakup. The mattress messy and unmade, surrounded by empty cigarette cartons, body fluids, dirty clothes, condoms, and bottles of alcohol.
Today the work is revered for boldly presenting a visceral and intimate visual representation of sexuality and mental health. Like a number of her contemporaries, Emin helped expand and destabilize the definition of sculpture at the end of the 20th century.
All of Emin's work is deeply personal and instantly recognizable across a variety of mediums. Some of her best known works include Schiele-esque drawings of herself, neon text that appears hand-scrawled, and reoccurring motifs of birds. Rendering herself vulnerable to the viewer, Emin bravely exhibits her most personal lived-experiences like sex, mental health, abortion, violence, and heartbreak.
"My Favourite Little Bird" is a sublime merging of two Emin's signatures: neon and birds. This vibrant bird was crafted in neon using lines to mirror Emin own hand-drawn sketches. This lithograph captures the neon-blue bird on a branch sculpture she created in 2010 for the façade of London’s Foundling Museum.
Emin has been drawing birds for the past twenty years. After a hiatus from the art world, she returned to art-making by sketching birds. To her the animal represented heavenly ascension and flight/freedom, a metaphor for rising above one's troubled psyche.
Neon is consciously chosen by Emin for the positive emotional impact and energy it bestows upon the viewer. Her neon works are highly sought after and have amassed a huge celebrity following including the likes of Kate Moss, Kendall Jenner, and Elton John among many others.
In 2014 Emin began creating limited edition lithographs inspired by her favorite neon art works. This impactful work is a paradigm of her two most recognizable motifs/media.
Tracey Emin has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including being appointed Commander of the Order of British Empire and becoming one of two female professors ever at the Royal Academy. In 2007 Emin represented Britain at the Venice Biennale. As one of the most lucrative and famous female artists of all time, most major institutions contain Emin works in their permanent collections.
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"My Favourite Little Bird"
Offset lithograph on silk finish paper
Signed in silver ink and inscribed "X" by the artist
From an edition of 500
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