Saturday, February 24, 2024

Tracey Emin: “Narcissistic, Deranged, Screaming Banshee”

Serial party goer Tracey Emin CBE, RA bizarrely claims she doesn’t like parties but gets it spot on when she states she is treated as a “narcissistic, deranged, screaming banshee”

On Saturday, Tracey Emin told The Guardian’s Miranda Bryant: “You cannot be an artist hanging out a giant party, it’s never going to work” in spite of the fact she’s been constantly pictured at parties for decades.


In July 2012, of the attention seeking artist’s very own parties, Tatler’s ‘Bystander’ gushed: “When Tracey Emin throw’s a party, it’s always brilliant. Always amazing. Hip hip hooray” and added: “Tracey Emin: great party host.” Strangely, that pearl of wisdom didn’t get a mention in The Guardian.


Known for hanging out at ritzy joints like Annabel’s and the GQ Awards with everyone from Prince and Princess Michael of Kent to Sir Elton John and his titleless husband David Furnish, super-connected, moaning multi-millionairess Emin used Saturday’s interview to bleat about how her life as an artist is “really lonely.”


Going further, this 58-year-old Turner Prize nominee bizarrely bleated of one of her works exhibited at the rather prestigious Royal Academy in 2020:


“I think I’ve been overlooked. I think they just thought I was some sort of narcissistic, deranged, screaming banshee.”


Self-absorbed Emin seems to forget she leads a life that is slightly more privileged than most of her struggling contemporaries. Aside from having taken up a CBE in spite of threatening to quit Britain for France over tax and her appointment as Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy, this motormouthed harpy has benefitted from an education at the Medway College of Design, Maidstone College, Royal College of Art and Birkbeck University. Not many artists get that lucky.


In addition, exhibited at the likes of the Saatchi Gallery, National Gallery of Scotland, Tate Britain and La Biennale di Venezia, here is someone who cannot accept how fortunate she truly is. It’s time for Tracey Emin to do one thing: Finally learn the art of good grace and thankfulness.


Pictured top: Artist who allegedly doesn’t like parties (and claims not to be taken seriously) Tracey Emin CBE, RA at various parties.


Tracey Emin drunk Vivienne Westwood
Tracey Emin – whom once claimed: “I’m simply not willing to pay tax at 50%… I’m seriously considering leaving Britain” – with fellow fruitcake Dame Vivienne Westwood, DBE, RDI, a woman who curiously based her companies in Luxembourg and got turfed out of the Green Party as a result (left) and slumped drunk in a car after a night out, um, er, partying.
Tracey Emin’s ‘My Bed’ (1999).
Tracey Emin’s ‘My Bed’ (1999).

Tracey Emin on…


“I found that life has to be edited to continue.”


“I had become conscious of my physicality, aware of my presence and open to the ugly truths of the world. At the age of 13, I realised that there was a danger in innocence and beauty and I could not live with both.”



“A man doesn’t know what it’s like to be a woman. It’s that simple.”


Her childhood:

“I never grew up.”


Her birthday and bodies in the Thames:

“My New Year’s Eve is always 2nd July, the night before my birthday. That’s the night I make my resolutions. And this year scares the life out of me, because no matter how successful, how good things appear, there is always a deep core of failure within me, although I am trying to deal with it.”


“My biggest fear, this coming year, is that I will be waking up alone. It makes me wonder how many bodies will be fished out of the Thames, how many decaying corpses will be found in one-room flats. I’m just being realistic.”


Herself as an artist:

“I think I’ve been overlooked. I think they just thought I was some sort of narcissistic, deranged, screaming banshee.”


“There’s a part of you that has to go deep inside, like I say, ‘inside the cave’, and if you don’t go inside the cave, you’re never going to make any art. You need to be able to stand and see yourself to be able to make the art.”



“I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in the bedroom like some people who just go to bed and never get out again.”


Her friends:

“I have hardly any friends who aren’t gay.”


“I really love animals. My little cat is my little soulmate. He’s not just a cat, he’s my friend.”


Having children:

“My mum has never wanted me to have children. She thinks I would be destroying my life, even now.”


“I’d make a good friend, not mother. I’m too selfish. I think a lot of mothers are selfish and they end up having children, but I don’t want to put some tiny small person through that.”



“I had to come to terms with my failure as an artist… I had to find a way for myself.”


Art and commerce:

“I’m not opposed to commerce, even though I’m an artist.”


Success and censorship:

“One thing that success has taught me is censorship.”



“What is truth? Truth doesn’t really exist.”


“Maybe I don’t believe things myself… Truth is such a transient thing.”



“People don’t remember. Revenge is sweet.”


The art world’s opinions of her:

“I’ve been slagged off completely by the art world.”


Her mistakes:

“All the mistakes I’ve ever made in my life have been when I’ve been drunk. I haven’t made hardly any mistakes sober, ever, ever.”


“Me and my mum were in Margate, sitting on a bench eating some jellied eels, when the scout person came and asked us if we would be extras [in the BBC’s Only Fools and Horses]… I thought I was too good to be an extra in Fools And Horses. How deranged was I?”


Asking for an apology:

“I don’t ask for an apology because it’s only tomorrow’s fish-and-chip paper.”



“It isn’t pushing people away, it isn’t pushing the whole of Britain away, it isn’t about Britain being demoted to some tiny demented island in the North Sea. It’s about people like me saying I’m very proud to be British.”


“If we leave Europe and it turns out OK and we’re happy eating our cabbages and we’re happy living on an island with our island mentality then fine, I’ll go along with that.”


Tony Blair and David Cameron:

“Both of these men, who are fine politicians and essentially good people, will be remembered in history for doing the most terrible things to our political system and I don’t understand why they fell for it; I don’t understand why they did it.”


“It really aggrieves me to know that I supported both of these men. All I know is that with both of these actions, we are in such a mess.”


Boris Johnson:

“I saw twits like Boris Johnson run when it actually dawned on him what he was doing.”


What she thinks of other people:

“People try constantly to use me and I hate it.”


What she thinks of herself:

“I’m better than all of you.”


“I’m such a nice person and I have a couple of drinks and I’m really good fun and then I’m really not fun.”


What she thinks other people think of her:

“They look at someone like me and I just really get up their nose. I really wind them up.”


Tracey Emin selfie
When she’s not out partying, Tracey Emin focuses on taking selfies and self-promotion. She clearly just cannot help herself.
Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


  1. My dear old chum and squash mentor John Constable went to an awful lot of trouble in ’76 organizing a bi-centennial exhibition of his great ancestors works. It was all stunning stuff of course and much of it was laid out prior all over my lounge – what a treat. He was to become very disquieted at the following attendees fanned by the accompanying fact that they were contemporaneously queuing around the block of The Tate to see half a ton of building bricks.

    When I read anything such as the above with the word ‘Art’ accompanying it I get a dissonant feeling inside perhaps only eclipsed by that felt by Cummings to a proffered original thought.


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