British artist Tracey Emin has taken aim at male artists who only care about making money.
Emin, who sold her famous ‘My Bed’ installation for £2.2million, was addressing the Hay literary festival in Wales and lashed out at artists who repeatedly churn out the same work in order to improve their bank balance.
“I know artists who make the same fucking work day in, day out,” she said. “They make it, they sell it, they make it, they sell it, they make another version, they sell it. They get a bigger house, they sell it. They get another house, they make some more work, they make more of the same work – that is what their fucking life is … that is not being an artist. Being an artist is about making art, not about making money.”
“It tends to happen much more with male artists. I’m not talking about Picasso,” she added while refusing to name names.
Following her claims, the 53-year-old took time to reflect on her own life and her ‘obsession’ with the art world: “I don’t have a family life like other people do, all I have is my art. That is my obsession, not me,” she said.
Emin’s accusation comes shortly after one of her peers, Damien Hirst, who just so happens to be the UK’s richest living artist, addressed the relationship between art and finance.
“It’s something you need to respect. You can’t make art without somehow taking it on board,” Hirst told the BBC in a video with American artist Jeff Koons.
“I think a lot of people think that artists need to be poor, or that you can’t have a focus on money,” he continued. “When I did my auction and when I made all that money, it changed everything for me and it was made in such a short period of time.”
“I think money is a huge part of our lives. I’ve always thought it is as important as love, or death, or something to come to terms with: something to understand. It’s a key and it’s something you need to respect.”