Artist Tracey Emin's Messy Bed Sells for $4.4M at London Auction

Emin, who has mined her tumultuous personal life for some of her best-known works, attended the auction and grinned when the hammer came down.

By The Associated Press
|  Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014  |  Updated 10:46 AM EDT
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    Artist Tracey Emin has sold her bed — and the disheveled sheets, empty vodka bottles, cigarette butts and discarded condoms were part of the lucrative deal.

    Emin's artwork "My Bed" sold for 2.54 million pounds ($4.4 million) at a London auction Tuesday, more than double the pre-sale estimate and four times the previous record for the artist.

    Emin, who has mined her tumultuous personal life for some of her best-known works, attended the auction and grinned when the hammer came down.

    The work was sold by collector Charles Saatchi, an early supporter of Emin and other modern British artists.

    Christie's auction house did not identify the buyer. But its head of contemporary art, Francis Outred, hinted it was an institution, saying the bed would end up "somewhere important."

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