Tracey Emin - Still a Tory

May 17 2011

Image of Tracey Emin - Still a Tory

Picture: Anita Zabludowicz

There's been an interesting media response to Tracey Emin's retrospective at the Hayward, and her promotion of it. The Guardian, normally Eminista No.1, finds itself in a pickle over her unabashed Toryism. She says that the 'Tories are the only hope for the arts':

There's no money, the country is bankrupt so the arts is going to be bottom of the list on everyone's agenda except that the Tories have an amazing arts minister in Ed Vaizey who is particularly protective and defensive of the arts.

Also the arts cuts, they are less than they were eight years ago with the Labour government. In the present climate its amazing that there's any money for the arts at all.

And remember, Tory people are massive collectors of the arts. For a lot of my friends, who think I'm crazy voting for the Tories - I want to know who buys their work? Who are the biggest philanthropists? I promise you, it's not Labour voters.

The Guardian arts cuts blog, normally the first to condemn any hint of cut-advocacy, merely asks meekly - 'Is she right?' The answer, I'm afraid, is a most emphatic yes.

Curiously enough, Emin was lunching with Vaizey at the very moment he heard he was going to be Culture Minister - as pictured above. That's way cooler than being summoned to No.10, don't you think?

Meanwhile, The Telegraph headlines her review with a predictably grumpy: "Tracey Emin is a minor talent for art but a mega-magnet for publicity" - but, perhaps mindful of her Tory charms, dares to conlude that her exhibition might actually be worth visiting...

Finally, the Daily Mail manages to combine two favourite targets in one - contemporary art and the BBC - by having a go at John Humphrys for his (I thought very good) interview with Emin. The Today interview is well worth a click - listen to it here. There's a slideshow too. 

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