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Signed Print Edition of 175
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
This screenprint was created by Tracey Emin in 2012, and forms part of the Reclining Nudes collection. Like most of her autobiographical body of work, the nude is a self-portrait, and is executed in blue ink. At the centre of a white paper background, Emin’s nude figure is composed of a series of disjointed and fluid lines. To the right of her abstracted figure is more expressive mark-making, which seems to take the form of a face.
Of this passionate self-portrait, Emin has described herself as being “slightly embarrassed by its openness, almost like an invitation”. Inspired by a series of drawings the artist made back in 2006, this print is therefore a collaborative work between Emin past and present. By referring to this drawing made six years before the screenprint, Emin imagines herself “from a long time ago, a time when I felt very different. A time when sex was all important and primal”.
While sex has indeed always been a crucial element of Emin’s life and art, her attitude towards her own sexual energy has developed throughout her lifetime and career. The Beginning Of Me is a rather unusual work because Emin usually draws herself in the present rather than working from older studies of herself. By referring to preliminary drawings made in her younger years, this screenprint therefore offers viewers a glimpse into Emin’s self-exploration through her practice.