Unmade Bed Goes For Over Three Million Dollars At Art Auction

emin-my-bedArtist Tracey Emin said that she had an idea after a long bout in bed during a stressful relationship period. After four days, she looked at the bed and discarded vodka bottles and cigarette butts and decided that she had created art.  Many would say that her work is not art but an unmade bed. However, the work was put on the shortlist in 1999 for the prestigious Turner Prize and it has now been auctioned off for  £2.546 million.  That is over three million dollars for Emin’s unmade and stained bed.

The 1998 work also features discarded condoms and stains from bodily fluids.  It was originally purchased by art collector Charles Saatchi who was seeking between £800,000 and £1.2 million.  Like Emin, he has now made a windfall profit from the bed . . . and its anonymous new owner.  If you find all of this perfectly bizarre, you are not alone.  The work divided critics with some crying foul.

What kills me is that with four kids, including three teenagers, I have been sitting on a gold mine.

33 thoughts on “Unmade Bed Goes For Over Three Million Dollars At Art Auction

  1. I would have to believe there is some wealthy moron who might want to get Ms. Emin to pose naked within her artwork. There could be no other motive.

  2. There is a sucker born for every charlatan. No, an unmade bed with used condoms and stained with body fluids is not art.

    A painting or a sculpture depicting despair or depression might perhaps feature these items as reference, but simply putting the bed before us is not art any more than the staging of a model home or the set up of a model or subject in an artist’s studio is the art itself. Can one put a birch twig in a jar of milk and claim that is art, more than the painting that would have been done of the object? Art is supposed to be a representation of an object or idea, not the object itself. The fossils of aurochs and smilodon are not art, but the cave paintings depicting them are.

  3. Karen, re: “Can one put a birch twig in a jar of milk and claim that is art, more than the painting that would have been done of the object? Art is supposed to be a representation of an object or idea, not the object itself.”

    Absolutely – remember Duchamp’s “R Mutt”? Wonder how much that urinal would be worth in the auction houses?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/3671180/Duchamps-Fountain-The-practical-joke-that-launched-an-artistic-revolution.html

  4. “What kills me is that with four kids, including three teenagers, I have been sitting on a gold mine.”

    Yeah, but since the art included drained vodka bottles your family including teenagers couldn’t have possibly legally produced what I now estimate at $469.8B that my unmade beds should have brought it.

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