It is one of the first paintings Emin created post cancer treatment, and fetched over four times its estimated price at Christie’s yesterday.
Proceeds from the sale are going to TKE Studios, an art school and centre Emin is launching later this month in Margate, the town she grew up in.
Emin’s auction record is £2.5m, for her 1998 work My Bed, which was sold in 2014.
Speaking to The Art Newspaper: “It’s amazing. It’s going to make a massive difference. The support for what I’m doing in Margate is phenomenal.
“I don’t want to die being an artist that made really interesting work. I want to make a future. If my art can make something happen for the future, then I’m doing the right thing. I’ve been all the way around the world in all directions and come back again. And this, Margate, is what I’ve chosen.”
Emin has already spent £2m on the project, including buying and refurbishing a former Edwardian bathhouse and mortuary that will now consist of 12 studios. TKE Studios will also have an exhibition programme, tutorials, lectures and two-year residencies for 15 to 20 students.
Since the opening of Frieze London earlier this week, there has been a lot of appetite for Emin’s work. Seven of her works on paper sold for £50,000 each during a VIP opening, while a larger painting fetched roughly £950,000 at Xavier Hufkens.