Tracey Emin, Holding Court from Bed

“It was 1994 and my first time in New York. I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep on the flight over, and upon arriving in New York I stayed up partying all night. Jay Jopling had taken two rooms at The Gramercy. One of the rooms, which displayed my work, doubled up as my bedroom. The day the fair opened there were queues around the block, but I wasn’t going anywhere. I was so hung over, so exhausted, and so jet-lagged that I had to just stay in bed. Luckily one of my pieces of work was my appliquéd blanket, Hotel International. Looking back it must have looked so contrived, me sitting in bed holding court to collectors, gallerists and museum curators . . . the stream of bed companions was endless. And the whole time I had a fantastic view outside my window of the Empire State Building. I owe a lot to The Gramercy Fair [later renamed The Armory Show].”

Photo of Tracey Emin and Jay Jopling, with Emin’s work Hotel International, at the Gramercy International Art Fair in 1994, courtesy of Tracey Emin.

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