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Retiree plays the art world

I got an email that directed me to a free, on-line, self-published book, How to Become a Famous Contemporary Artist, that began with these words (image, Earl Bronsteen’s “Medicine Man”):

My meteoric rise to success in the art world has left many of my struggling artist friends shaking their heads (and fists). The[y] ask me over and over, “Earl, how could you, an untrained elderly, Jewish, straight person have become an overnight success in the fiercely competitive and severly overcrowded contemporary art world?”

The answer is quite simple. Artists are made not born. The art world is a very competitive business and I set out to “shop the competition.” I visited many, many museums and galleries so I could see what was hot and what was ot. I took what is hot and copied and adapted it. And, the rest is history.

The book offers 100 tricks of the trade and the web page offers hilarious endorsements for the book.

The email was as charming–and unapologetically self-promotional–as the beginning of this book. Here’s the e-mail:

Hi- I am self promoting a recently self-published book (see title above) which pokes fun at some art critics, galleries, museums in an hilarious 144 page free eBook at

Zeke’s loved it. The Whitney has it in its library. A top collector ordered 100 copies.

I invite you to read a few pages.

My art was recently on exhibition at O K Harris.

My only connection to Philly is that my wife was born there and Jerry & Rhoda Dersh and Acey & Bill Wolgin are fans or my work. I’ll be visiting your fair city in October with a group from the Boca Raton Museum.

Earl Bronsteen

Here’s my take on all this: Bronsteen has a great sense of humor. And he’s pretty smart about selling. So, some struggling, earnest artist unprepared to adopt Bronsteen’s copy-cat approach to art still might learn some important lessons about how the art world works from this book, and laugh a little along the way.bronsteen, earl