Tracey Emin Takes Center Stage at Brit Awards

UK’s biggest night in music was just upstaged by artist Tracey Emin. The 2015 Brit Awards, live tonight, showcases some of the world’s most glitzy musical talents, and also now—one of its most celebrated contemporary artists (see Saatchi Is Selling Another Seminal Tracey Emin Installation).

Tracey Emin was originally commissioned to design the 2015 Brit Awards statuette, unveiled in December, joining the ranks of Vivienne Westwood and fellow-YBA Damien Hirst. But she kept another surprise hidden up her sleeve. The native Brit wowed tonight’s audience with collapsing floating scenery in London’s O2 Arena.

Having adopted a more tame reputation in the past few years, the awards show seems to be regressing to its more dynamic and unpredictable roots. Max Lousada, Warner Music UK CEO, presided over the curation of this year’s event but the artistic collaboration may have stemmed from the vision of stage designer Es Devlin and creative director Willo Perron.

Tracey Emin isn’t the first artist to use a music awards platform as her canvas (remember when KAWS reinvented the VMA Moonman?). But Emin will surely command the longest lasting impression.

The award statuette she created for the show is a light pink figurine etched with the words “Congratulations on your talent on your life on everything you give to others Thank you.” These same words are now sprawled across the London stadium in a light neon blue installation.

The performance line-up confirmed for tonight includes Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, and Madonna. West’s performance is rumored to be an ambitious production. In 2006, he showed up at this same event with 77 dancers spray-painted in gold. Might he follow his art-aficionado, mentor Jay-Z’s footsteps, and engage in an on-stage pas de deux with Emin’s work? (see Beyoncé and Jay Z Pose with Mona Lisa).

The live show started airing at 8 pm in the UK on ITV and is now being broadcast around the globe on YouTube. Tune in!

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