LONDON (AP) — For sale: bed. Definitely slept in. Seven-figure price tag.
Adventurous art collectors with deep pockets have the chance to buy British artist Tracey Emin’s “My Bed,” complete with disheveled sheets, empty vodka bottles, cigarette butts and discarded condoms.
The Turner Prize-nominated work is one of the landmarks of the Young British Artist movement that shook up the art world in the 1990s.
It goes under the on hammer on Tuesday, with an estimated price of 800,000 pounds to 1.2 million pounds ($1.3 million to $2 million).
The work is being sold by collector Charles Saatchi, who was instrumental in promoting the careers of Emin, Damien Hirst and other “YBAs.” They were renowned for their unorthodox approach and nontraditional materials, from Hirst’s pickled sharks to Emin’s confessional assemblages.
Emin, 50, mined her tumultuous personal life for some of her best-known works, including “My Bed” and an appliqued tent entitled “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With.”
“My Bed” was made after a period of severe depression triggered by a relationship split. The artist said Friday that seeing it on display at the auction house was “surreal.”
“Every time I’m near the bed or install the bed I get flashbacks and recollections of when I first saw the bed, which was in my bedroom and that was 16 years ago,” she said.
“I can’t really, still, come to the reality of the situation that it’s moved and come so far.”
“I just hope it goes to a nice place. It’s helped me a lot.”
Christie’s contemporary art specialist Francis Outred said the bed was among the most important British 20th-century artworks because it “transformed the way the general public engage with contemporary art.”
When it was first exhibited in 1998, the bed provoked both praise and disgust — and prompted two guerrilla artists to stage a pillow fight among the sheets.
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