This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.
Signed Print Edition of 100
Own this artwork?
Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
This uncanny and witty 2009 etching by Tracey Emin forms part of our Nude Drawings collection of her work. In the centre of an expansive white background, Emin’s focal composition is printed on delicate Japanese Tonosawa paper. A wailing nude figure is being attacked by three so-called 'rat black sperm'. To the right of this unsettling yet titillating illustration is a short verse written by Emin, which reads: “No thoes giant rat black sperms in my nightmare looked just like you”.
Diaristic and insightful, the work of Emin has always offered viewers a look into her often weird and wonderful imagination. Emin has proclaimed herself to be a spiritually-guided individual, and this is something captured in Rat Black Sperm.
The text, which is naively misspelt and written backwards at times, tells the story of a nightmare Emin had. The nightmare she represents in this etching pictures a nude woman - likely Emin herself - being attacked by three so-called ‘rat black sperms’. According to her prose, these ‘giant’ sperms ‘looked just like you’. This direct address is clearly directed to Emin’s lover at the time of the works creation, making the work an even deeper glimpse into her life.