You are currently viewing Anatomy of a Success Story: How One Artist Broke Through

Hugo McCloud has gone from designing fountains and furniture to his fifth show with an established New York gallery.

Each year in the art world, lesser-known artists percolate into public consciousness — most obviously at auctions like those that recently concluded in New York, which saw prices exceeding estimates for up-and-comers like Jadé Fadojutimi, Lucy Bull and Michaela Yearwood-Dan.

These breakout examples always raise the question: How does an artist go from unknown and struggling to celebrated and successful? How much of it is luck and timing? How much training and talent?

Hugo McCloud, 44, offers a recent case study of one path from obscurity to recognition. In just over a decade, he had gone from fabricating metal fountains in Northern California to this month opening his fifth show at the prestigious Sean Kelly Gallery in New York — where his large pieces have sold for as much as $325,000 — and seeing

Keep reading this article on The New York Times Media & Advertising.

Leave a Reply