Tracey Emin Shares Experience of Sexual Assault By ‘Famous’ Female Artist

Emin threatened ‘to punch her lights out’, she claimed in a recent interview

Tracey Emin at the Lighthouse Gala Auction in aid of the Terrence Higgins Trust, 2007. Courtesy: the artist; photograph: Piers Allardyce

Tracey Emin at the Lighthouse Gala Auction in aid of the Terrence Higgins Trust, 2007. Courtesy: the artist; photograph: Piers Allardyce

Tracey Emin at the Lighthouse Gala Auction in aid of the Terrence Higgins Trust, 2007. Courtesy: the artist; photograph: Piers Allardyce

In a recent interview, Tracey Emin was asked by collector (and former partner of George Michael) Kenny Goss about her experiences of sexual harassment. The British artist replied that that she had once been the subject of a sexual assault by another female artist, who she did not name.

The woman grabbed Emin by the crotch while they were both at a party, and pushed her up against the wall. Emin discussed the incident with Goss as part of a set of interviews marking Emin being honoured by MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation at last week’s Re:Define event in Dallas.

Emin admitted that she responded to her assaulter by threatening ‘to punch her lights out’, adding: ‘Everybody said you can’t do that because she was a famous artist, I was much younger and said, ‘Yeah, I can – she can’t touch me like that.’’

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Tracey Emin, ‘The Memory of Your Touch’, 2017, installation view, Xavier Hufkens, Brussels. Courtesy: the artist and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
; photograph: Allard Bovenberg 

Tracey Emin, ‘The Memory of Your Touch’, 2017, installation view, Xavier Hufkens, Brussels. Courtesy: the artist and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
; photograph: Allard Bovenberg 

Reviewing the artist’s exhibition ‘The Memory of Your Touch’ last year at Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, frieze’s Matthew McLean wrote: ‘I would say that Emin is a good artist, even a great one. At the very least, the works frequently show a deftness of touch, an instinctive grasp of line and a gentle probing of form that’s as impressive as it is, perhaps, unexpected.’

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