Tracey’s $4.3 Million Bed
Updated: Dec 9, 2019
Would you pay over $4 million for an unmade bed? Well, someone did
By Susanna Capelouto, CNN Updated 11:54 AM ET, Mon July 7, 2014
An un-made bed to make millions
A 16-year-old unmade bed sells for over $4 million at auction
The artist, Tracey Emin, spent four days in the bed “heartbroken”
“It’s like a piece of history, a time capsule,” Emin says
No official word yet on who bought the unmade bed
The next time your child refuses to make his or her bed, don’t despair. You may have an artist on your hands.
A 16-year-old unmade bed, turned into an art installation, sold for $4,351,969 dollars at a Christie’s art auction in London on Tuesday, according to Christie’s.
Artist Tracey Emin calls it “My Bed,” because it was the bed where she spent four days in 1998 “heartbroken and feeling terrible,” she tells CNN.
Once Emin got out of the bed she recalls looking at the mess left behind and decided to make it art.
“Suddenly I had this vision of taking it out of the bedroom space and putting it into a white gallery space,” she said. “It suddenly made sense,” she said. “Wow this is fantastic artwork.”
A year later, in 1999, “My Bed” was shortlisted for the Turner Prize.
It’s not just the messy linens and blankets that bring the art installation to life. The objects surrounding it tell the story of a broken heart.
There’s the ashtray overflowing with cigarettes, empty liquor bottles, dirty panties, bits of food, contraceptives and what appears to be a 16-year-old condom.
“It’s like a piece of history, a time capsule,” Emin said.
Art lovers agreed, and her unconventional sculpture sold for more than $1.7 million over the expected auction price, which was set between $1.3 million to $2 million.
Christie’s won’t comment on who bought “My Bed.”
“I was really nervous and then six people started bidding and everybody cheered and that made me feel better,” the 5ear-o1-yld Emin said in an interview last week. “I thought it was just brilliant.” Tracey Emin was in the crowd when “My Bed,” her unmade bed with rumpled sheets, empty vodka bottles, underwear and cigarette packets sold for 2.5 million pounds ($4.3 million) on July 1 2014 at Christie’s in London, more than five times her previous high.
The main thing that’s driving the growth of the art market is the demand for a good investment for the very rich, art adviser Todd Levin said. Levin, standing outside the convention center in Basel, Switzerland, was referring to the brisk sales inside at Art Basel, the world’s largest modern-and contemporary-art fair.
Sorry Tracey, clearly that needed to be solved, the bed that makes itself,