Forged Letters Get Tracey Emin in Trouble

12/04/2009 3:10 PM |

Tracey Emin

While the Victoria’s Secret holiday catalog is the most compelling correspondence landing in most regular folk’s mailboxes these days, we’re here to tell you (for the second time this week) that in the art world, snail mail is a lot more intriguing. According to the UK’s Daily Telegraph, someone has been trying to land British artist Tracey Emin in hot water with her East London community by forging letters in her signature scrawl and mailing them to her neighbors.

Opening with “Seasonal Good Wishes from Tracey Emin,” the letters make the false (and frankly, kind of funny) claim that Emin plans to build a swimming pool in Tenter Ground, the warehouse she bought for £4 million ($6,586,000) in 2008. A prank like this couldn’t have come at a worse time for Emin; her plans to use the building as an artisan space have already caused plenty of controversy. Emin’s application to renovate the warehouse was rejected by the Tower Hamlets planning department after reviewing a petition protesting the project. Much to her neighbor’s disappointment, though, a new application was accepted this past August.

The letters end with this comically cloying sign-off: “I might be a famous Turner Prize artist with a national collection of modern British art at the Tate, but you know, at heart, I’m still just your neighbour, Tracey.” And though Emin’s spokeswoman describes the incident as “shocking,” her neighbors were not particularly disturbed. Neighbor and false-letter-recipient Steffen Huck told The Times of London: “It was clearly not from her. There were no spelling mistakes.”