Tracey Emin Says Female Artists Can’t Have Kids

Tracey Emin, Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995 (1995) Photo: Tracey Emin Studio

Tracey Emin has insisted that her career as an artist would make it impossible for her to have children and be a mother, telling the Independent that it isn’t easy for a female artist to juggle both a career and parenthood.

In an interview with Red Magazine, Emin maintains that having children would “compromise” her work. “I know some women can. But that’s not the kind of artist I aspire to be,” she says. “I would have been either 100 percent mother or 100 percent artist. I’m not flaky and I don’t compromise.”

She goes on to argue that male artists have it much easier: “There are good artists that have children. Of course there are. They are called men.” According to Emin, women, on the other hand, “are emotionally torn,” adding “it’s hard enough for me with my cat.”

Despite this, the artist remains certain that sexism in the art world and in society at large will someday come to an end (see “We Asked 20 Women “Is the Art World Biased?” Here’s What They Said.“). “It’s changing slowly. We probably just need another 200 years,” she says.

Tracey Emin’s latest exhibition, “The Last Great Adventure Is You,” opens today at White Cube Gallery in London (see “Tracey Emin’s Dejection Is Becoming Too Predictable“).


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