Tracey Emin Neon Sculptures Up for Auction to Benefit the Museum of Contemporary Art

Tracey Emin sure must love Miami.

It's not just that this city is lit with neon, one of the British artist's favorite mediums. Or that Emin selected Miami as the home of her first works in the collection of an American Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art purchased Emin's video Why I Never Became a Dancer in 1998. It's not just that that same museum will host the artist's first solo show in a U.S. museum during Art Basel this year, either.

Emin and MOCA clearly have a long-standing relationship, and Emin's proving it's anything but one-sided. Today, MOCA announced that Emin has donated five of her neon works to be auctioned off to benefit the museum.

The series of five sculptures, each one a glowing, 3-D version of the word "Loving" scrawled in Emin's own handwriting, will go up for auction by New York City auction house Philips on Nov. 6. There'll be a live auction right on Park Avenue that evening (how very ritzy), but interested Miami buyers can place bids via email or phone.

Not that you're going to win an original Emin, you shlub. In 2007, her work was valued between $24,000 and $700,000, and Emin's fame has only increased since then.

The auction is still good news for Miami art lovers, however; those prices mean more funding for MOCA, which has a track record of supporting fledgling artists (like Emin was in 1998) into prominent art careers. As MOCA chairman Dr. Kira Flanzraich explains in a release, "Tracey's remarkable generosity is indicative of the close ties that MOCA engenders with its artists, many of whom have received their first significant exposure in the United States with exhibitions at the museum."


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Ciara LaVelle is New Times' former arts and culture editor. She earned her BS in journalism at Boston University and moved to Florida in 2004. She joined New Times' staff in 2011.
Contact: Ciara LaVelle