This signed lithograph from 2012 is a limited edition of 500 from Tracey Emin’s Neons collection. The lithograph shows a neon heart encapsulating Emin’s own handwriting, which reads “my heart is with you always”.
Emin’s neons, like her installations, videos or drawings, place the artist’s feelings at their centre. Here, Emin’s usual visual confessions take on a new form, which foregrounds Emin’s own handwriting and the use of iridescent colours as outlets for the artist’s intimate storytelling. Like many of her other works then, My Heart Is With You Always addresses universal themes of love, loss and hope.
The work and its message were iterated on many occasions, attesting to the popularity of Emin’s neon writings. The most emblematic of these reiterations was the work’s projection on the facade of The Peninsula in Hong Kong. For the occasion, Emin released an interview where she disclosed the meaning of this work. In the artist’s words: “I think in life we have people we love and we lose them … you know, we lose them because they move on or we lose them because they have moved onto another world, so this (the work) is an eternal statement about love, and I think that is why, even if it sounds over-romantic or corny, nearly everyone must have experienced that. It is not just about the loss of love, but it is about allowing the love to move on in another way as well.”
My Heart Is With You Always has now become emblematic of Emin’s confessional storytelling. The text conveys with full intensity the inevitable feelings of vulnerability, fragility and oftentimes loss associated by the artist with loving someone. This disenchanted honesty, as well as the universal valence of her messages, renders this and her other works relatable to the viewer on a personal level, and it is through these qualities that Emin’s art has won over the heart of her audiences.