Tracey Emin no doubt expected to win plaudits from right-on friends in the art world when she demanded last week that her £250,000 neon sign artwork, More Passion, be removed from Downing Street.
Referring to the string of lockdown parties held there, she said: ‘I feel More Passion is the last thing this present Government needs. This current situation is shameful.’
But the artist, best known for her My Bed installation, has been handbagged by cross-dressing ceramicist Grayson Perry. The Turner Prize-winner calls her behaviour ‘lame’.
Tracey Emin (right) has been called 'lame' by Grayson Perry (left) after she demanded Downing Street remove her £250,000 neon sign artwork, More Passion, following revelations of parties during lockdown
Artist Tracey Emin has called for her neon-artwork sign 'More Passion' to be removed from Downing Street
Like Emin, Perry has works in the Government Art Collection. But, unlike her, he wouldn’t dream of making demands about where they can be displayed. ‘My work has been in the offices of people I may not like, but I don’t complain,’ he tells me.
Speaking at the launch party for the book Bacon In Moscow, by James Birch, Perry adds: ‘I thought what she did was a bit lame.’
Her gesture was, he suggests, rendered even more pathetic by the fact that she’s supported the Conservatives in the past.
‘Considering she is one of the few artists that has come out as a voting Tory, it seemed a bit ironic.’
Boris Johnson and staff pictured with wine in Downing Street garden in May 2020
In 2012, Grayson admitted he was less than pleased to find out then Chancellor George Osborne had displayed his art.
‘There was a moment when he had my Print For A Politician in his office, which didn’t thrill me,’ he said at the time. ‘You have to be really careful who you get associated with because you don’t want a toxic brand.’
But he didn’t ask for it to be removed. Despite being a darling of the fashionable Left, Perry has previously confessed that he finds people with conservative views ‘friendlier’.
He said: ‘The Left is more venal and has more antipathy to the opposition than the other way round. I would say the Right on average are friendlier and more open.’
Emin, 58, changed her allegiance from Labour after meeting David Cameron at a Conservative dinner. She was so impressed that she designed and donated the neon sign.
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