Emin scrawls and Perry shocks at UK summer show

Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:25pm EDT
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By Paul Casciato

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Artist Tracy Emin provided the kind of emotional drama she is famous for, but it was cross-dressing ceramicist Grayson Perry who delivered the shock blow at the opening day of the British Royal Academy's summer art exhibition show in London on Monday.

Emin had four works and Perry only one on display in the world's largest open submission contemporary art exhibition held every summer at the Academy's imposing 17th century building in London's luxurious Mayfair neighborhood.

Emin and Perry's work rested alongside more than 1,200 works of art from academicians such as David Hockney and David Mach to "Hub 2007 - 10," an inkjet map of London which competed for space against the 300 photographs, mixed media, paintings, etchings and drawings in the building's Large Weston room alone.

Texan tourist Wendell Holloway who is visiting London with his family said this year's show had some flair compared to the last one he'd seen four or five years ago.

"It seems more lively now than it was then," he said. "There are a few pieces we are interested in buying."

Emin's "But I Think I Love You" consisted of a dirty off white canvas with "BUT I LOVE YOU" scrawled in big red letters and then a slightly smaller message in black: "SOMETIMES I DON'T THINK" and some barely discernable letters in white underneath.

She also had "For You" -- a polymer gravure etching of a small dog in blue --and another polymer gravure etching "No Idea" of a naked woman from behind, who is turned to look back at a number of penises doing the high jump with the message: