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How do you fix a broken heart?

With vodka bottles, condoms and many, many cigarettes. Tracey Emin’s seminal piece “My Bed” went on auction at Christie’s earlier this month for a whopping £2,546,500.

Tracey Emin My Bed

Tracey Emin, ‘My Bed’ (1998) source

Depicting the end of a relationship (we’re thinking it was catastrophic with the amount of tissues and, dare we say, blood stained underwear), Tracey’s work was first bought by Charles Saatchi in 2000 for just £150,000.

“I could have written a broken-hearted love story at the same time, and I did, with that bed,” says Tracey. So, much like Taylor Swift writing songs about her heartbreak, Tracey turned to her bed for comfort. (That’ll be most women, then)

It’s probably one of the most honest and open pieces we’ve seen – what woman do you know would let you see all of the nitty, gritty parts of her bedroom?

A part of art history as much as Van Gogh’s chair, Tracey’s feminist art went on tour to Tokyo where Japanese customs attempted to destroy the bed. Failing that, they stole the condoms instead. At least they wanted to be safe.

Whilst Tracey is hoping it’ll remain on public display, Jay Jopling, who won the auction, is being very quiet about what he intends to do with the installation. It will, however, “[…] [E]nd up somewhere important.” Whatever that means, we just hope this controversial piece of work will continue to influence the art world.

Either way, proceeds of the sale will go toward funding the Saatchi Gallery’s policy of free entry to exhibitions and free programmes for schools.

Bohemian, ladette, or feminist – whatever you want to call it, we have to admit that Tracey’s bed, when it first came out, was an eye opener. We’re pretty sure we have women figured out now. Hats off to you, Emin.

New Bond Street Pawnbrokers offers offer instant credit with minimal paperwork, plus specialist advice throughout. You can check our dedicated fine art webpage for more information.

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