Tracey Emin is thinking of leaving the country. Oh woe. Apparently Labour’s new 50% Tax on incomes over £150k would hit her too hard and she’s thinking of moving to France.
“At least in France their politicians have always understood the importance of culture and they have traditionally helped out artists with subsidy and some tax advantages.”
I’m sorry Trace, but are you suggesting that a multi-millionaire artist with a stellar career such as yourself should have a de facto right to government subsidies? At whose expense? Those thousands of desperate painters living with their mums? Those same painters, by the way, that you criticise the government for not supporting? Aren’t you a product of the state system? Didn’t the government fund your Art School education? Did they not create the context that allowed you to rake in millions and shouldn’t you consequently show a tad more gratitude to this country before you sod off across the channel?
I read your piece in ‘The Times Magazine’ a fortnight back. You know, the one about ‘The Shop’ you set up with Sarah Lucas back in ’93 when you were broke but somehow still managed to sign the lease on a five story building just off Brick Lane? You were open 11 till 6 weekdays and all Saturday night through to Sunday afternoon. You made your own merchandise – T-shirts with ‘I am Kebab’ scrawled on them, baby vests with ’1st sperm counts’ slogans, ashtrays with Damien Hirst’s face on the bottom – and even off-the-cuff anagrams of customers names which they would then buy, for some reason, as works of art. You had a big party when it closed:
“I destroyed everything possible so that the shop could never be recreated. Only the memories exist and even these I am protecting. Basically, if you didn’t go to the shop then you just weren’t there.”
And I’m glad I wasn’t there. I’m glad I wasn’t part of the fantastic artistic clique that supported you through a barren time and on whom you’re now willing to turn your back for the sake of saving a shilling you don’t need.
I think you’ll find Dover’s over there somewhere. Please don’t come back.