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"Everything for Art" - Be Warned This book is Not for the Faint Hearted!

Everything For Art - a book review

Whether you are starting out as an artist or have been around for a while, this book is a must-read if you want to have a chance of success as a professional artist.

"Everything for Art: How to be a Successful Artist" by Tizian Baldinger and Timon R Bose offers a candid and pragmatic look at the contemporary art world from an insider's perspective.

This book stands out for its unvarnished approach to discussing the realities of building a successful career as an artist in today's competitive landscape.

Baldinger, along with co-author Timon R. Böse, draws insights from conversations with a world-renowned artist (who remains anonymous) as well as input from various art world professionals, including gallery owners, collectors, and curators.

This multi-faceted approach provides readers with a comprehensive view of the art ecosystem and the factors that contribute to an artist's success. The book's strength lies in its objective analysis of the art system.

Rather than offering feel-good platitudes or romanticizing the artist's journey, Baldinger presents a clear-eyed view of the challenges and realities artists face. As one international curator notes, "This book is not recommended for romantics, and definitely not for professional romantics." Having read the first few chapters so far, I'd say it is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

This blunt honesty may be jarring for some readers, but it serves as a valuable reality check for aspiring artists. One of the key insights the book offers is that success in the art world is not solely dependent on talent. Baldinger argues that compatibility with the current art system plays a crucial role in an artist's career trajectory. This perspective challenges the common notion that artistic brilliance alone is sufficient for success and encourages readers to consider the broader context in which art is created, marketed, and sold.

The book's structure is praised for its clarity and accessibility. It provides a systematic breakdown of the art world's inner workings, offering practical knowledge that is often not taught in traditional art education programs. This makes it a valuable resource for art students and emerging artists who are navigating the early stages of their careers.

However, the book is not without its critics. Some readers have found the information to be common sense or lacking in depth. One reviewer on Goodreads noted that the book is "very limited in scope" and "very repetitive that you're probably not going to make it". This criticism highlights a potential weakness in the book's approach – while it aims to be realistic, it may err on the side of being overly discouraging. Another point of contention is the book's focus on traditional paths to success in the art world. As the same Goodreads reviewer points out, the advice is "almost exclusively for people who want to find 'success' in the traditional art world, the equivalent of the Salon at the dawn of Impressionism".

This narrow focus may limit the book's relevance for artists pursuing alternative or non-traditional career paths. Despite these criticisms, many readers have found value in the book's practical advice and insider perspective. One Amazon reviewer described it as "core literature for young artists," praising its clear language and objective information about the art market. Another reader noted that it's "great for all struggling artists," though they humorously added that already successful artists might not need its advice.

The book's brevity (at 168 pages) is both a strength and a weakness. While it makes for a quick and focused read, some readers may find themselves wanting a more in-depth exploration of certain topics. However, this conciseness also makes it a handy reference guide that artists can easily revisit throughout their careers.

In conclusion, "Everything for Art" offers a sobering but potentially valuable perspective on the realities of the contemporary art world. Its greatest strength lies in its willingness to challenge romantic notions about artistic success and provide practical, if sometimes harsh, advice. While it may not be the definitive guide for all artists, particularly those pursuing non-traditional paths, it serves as a useful starting point for understanding the complexities of the art market and the challenges of building a sustainable artistic career. The book is likely to be most beneficial for young artists or art students who are just beginning to navigate the professional art world. For these readers, Baldinger's insider insights and practical advice could prove invaluable in setting realistic expectations and developing strategies for career advancement.

However, even established artists might find value in its analysis of the current art system and market dynamics. Ultimately, "Everything for Art" is a thought-provoking read that encourages artists to approach their careers with a blend of creativity and pragmatism. While it may not provide all the answers, it certainly asks important questions and provides a framework for thinking critically about what it means to be a successful artist in today's complex and competitive art world.

if you read it, I would love to know what you think about it. Please come back and leave a comment ......

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