Tracey Emin: 'There are good artists that have children. They are called men'

The artist says motherhood would ‘compromise’ her work

Ella Alexander
Friday 03 October 2014 12:23 BST

Tracey Emin says that it wouldn’t be possible for her to be an artist and mother.

She maintains that having children would "compromise" her work and that it isn’t easy for any woman in her profession to juggle a career with parenting.

"I don’t think I’d be making work [if I were a mother]," she said.

"I would have been either 100 per cent mother or 100 per cent artist. I’m not flaky and I don’t compromise. Having children and being a mother… It would be a compromise to be an artist at the same time."

Although she concedes that it is possible to be an artist and mother, Emin says that the situation is far easier for her male counterparts.

"I know some women can. But that’s not the kind of artist I aspire to be," she told Red magazine in its November issue. "There are good artists that have children. Of course there are. They are called men. It’s hard for women. It’s really difficult, they are emotionally torn. It’s hard enough for me with my cat."

Emin, 51, opens her latest exhibition, entitled The Last Great Adventure Is You, on 8 October at the White Cube Gallery in London.

Despite having been made a CBE in the January 2013 New Year Honours List, she still believes society has a long way to go until women are fully valued as artists.

"But it’s changing slowly," she said. "We probably just need another 200 years."

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