02/21/2013 11:57 am ET

Tracey Emin Finds Love In Times Square : The New Yorker

It is hard to imagine that many of the assignations that take place around midnight in the eighth-floor bar of the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square are particularly romantic. The décor is reminiscent of a rundown airport's business-class lounge--its teal-leather chairs and scuffed rug's swirly abstractions scream layover in Bangor; the absence of a plate of complimentary cheese cubes comes as rather a shock. Yet last week, in the final hour of Valentine's Day Eve, Tracey Emin, the forty-nine-year-old British artist known for her blunt sexual themes and cheeky provocations, sat there sipping a vodka tonic, and talked about love.

"I think as you get older, love is a very different emotional feeling to when you were fifteen, or when you were thirty," said Emin, who wore a gray-plaid jumper and had her blonde hair in a high ponytail. "When you're fifty, and a woman as well, and you're going through your menopause, you feel very differently about love and about sex and about lust. What I want now is that warmth, that coziness, affection, trust, all of those kinds of things. I start off with them first, and then work my way, eh, down."