From A to Z: Decoding Success in the Artistic Labyrinth

In an era where the boundaries between art, commerce, and self-branding have increasingly intertwined, Leroy Brothers' book “How to Be a Successful Contemporary Artist from A to Z” stands as a compass, guiding fledgling artists through the maze that is the modern art world. Published in 2011 and reminiscent of Andy Warhol's iconic “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)”, this tome is a testament to the changing dynamics of art in the 21st century.


What makes this publication singularly unique is its blending of genre and intent. Modeled after self-help books, it walks a delicate tightrope between earnest advice and satirical reflection. The very decision to model it as a guidebook, typically reserved for subjects like personal development or business success, is a wry nod to the commercialization and commodification of contemporary art.

The book doesn't just talk about art—it delves deep into the mechanisms of the art world. From the intricacies of gallery politics to the nuances of networking, it illuminates the often unspoken rules and strategies that determine success. Yet, in this enlightening journey, there's a mischievous undercurrent. The very structure of the book, with chapters ranging from A to Z, winks at the reader, suggesting that the path to artistic success, while tangible, is not formulaic.


Leroy Brothers' illustrative prowess further enhances the narrative. The 26 accompanying pencil drawings, each corresponding to a chapter, add depth to the text. They aren't just visual supplements; they are interpretative artworks in themselves, prompting the reader to decipher, deduce, and derive their own understanding.


The gallery installation, with the 26 drawings enveloping a pallet of books, is a masterstroke. It offers a multi-layered experience—a visual feast coupled with tangible knowledge. The decision to allow visitors to grab a copy is emblematic of the democratization of art. It challenges traditional constructs where art is viewed from a distance, asserting that art, and knowledge about art, is accessible and available to all.

Wim Delvoye's endorsement—expressing regret that such a guide wasn't available during his formative years—encapsulates the essence of the book. It's more than just a guide; it's a mirror reflecting the evolving landscape of the art world, the shifting sands of what constitutes success, and the perennial dance between art and commerce.


In conclusion, “How to Be a Successful Contemporary Artist from A to Z” is not just a book. It's a statement—a commentary on the intersection of art, business, and self-promotion in today's world. It provokes, challenges, and, most importantly, empowers. Through its pages and illustrations, Leroy Brothers invite every artist, every dreamer, to take charge of their narrative, to navigate the complexities of the art industry, and to carve a niche in the vast tapestry of contemporary art. It's a clarion call, urging artists to dream, to dare, and to define their own version of success.

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