The age old question still exists for artists: how does one get artwork seen by a mass audience? Tracey Emin states, 'There's no point in being an artist if you have no audience.' Nowhere better do she demonstrate this ethos than at Selfridges where the exclusive yet inclusive retail giant has generously given her a space to display and sell her ambitiously marketed knick-knacks and limited-edition prints among the glass cases of glittering designer jewellery and accessories.
Tracey Emin has created a brand for her work called Emin International, which means her artwork is no longer relegated to the age-old and well-loved paintings and prints... No, Emin now sluices through the murky waters of design and craft displaying her iconic child-like drawings on teapots, teacups, pillows, bags, notebooks and even wine bottles! Is this marketing gone mad or has Emin just displayed her genius in combining Art, with a capital A, with the mass marketing tool of the department store? Wisely (for her hard-earned art fans are watching), her display of quite affordable limited-edition prints will make any collector do a double-take as they decide whether her Union Jack mug is really a wise investment at £20 when one could instead snag a signed limited-edition print for as little as £200.
Wandering around the specifically designed space, I can't help but be impressed by the extreme helpfulness and pleasant attitudes of the salespeople (they even gave me some of their amazing tissue paper for free!) and the sheer accessibility of this art event. Perhaps this is what the art world needs.. an open arms approach to getting artwork to a larger audience of buyers. The best thing is this pop-up event is FREE, but it is only open until the end of July.