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Signed Print Edition of 50
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
This print was executed by Tracey Emin in 2020, and forms a series of eight lithographs under the title These Feelings Were True. Set against a white paper background, a wash of blue ink creates a painterly border at the centre of the work. Within the negative space created by this blue wash is a spontaneously executed self-portrait. The portrait is split into two halves: on the left Emin’s face is blotted out almost completely, and on the right her eye and mouth appears melancholically downturned.
From her series These Feelings Were True, this lithograph has been described by Emin herself as a “really honest and freeing” self-portrait. This series was created after her diagnosis with bladder cancer in the same year, and the self-portraits were executed with a sense of uninhibited creativity. Crucially, some of the self-portraits from this series were created prior to her diagnosis, and Emin has described these works as revealing a “pious” side to her. The portraits made after her diagnosis however show a more “crazy” handling of her own image during her time dealing with cancer.
Of These Feelings Were True II, Emin has said that the self-portrait was like “a note to myself” while she was confronting her own mortality. Produced spontaneously and in one sitting, she has described the act of producing the portrait as “comforting” and “not aggressive”. Emin has always used her art to console herself and address her hopes and fears, and since her diagnosis her art seems to have become an even more important tool in finding peace.