Marcel Broodthaers (January 28, 1924 - January 28, 1976) was a Belgian poet, filmaker and artist with a highly literate and often witty approach to creating art works.
After spending 20 years in poverty as a struggling poet, he performed the symbolic act of embedding fifty copies of his book of poems Pense-Bête in plaster, creating his first art object. That same year, 1964, for his first exhibition, he wrote a famous preface for the exhibition catalogue:
"I, too, wondered wether I could not sell something and succeed in life. For some time I had been no good at anything. I am forty years old... Finally the idea of inventing something insincere finally crossed my mind and I set to work straightaway. At the end of three months I showed what I had produced to Philippe Edouard Toussaint, the owner of the Gaelerie St. Laurent. 'But this is art' he said 'and I will willingly exhibit all of it.' 'Agreed' I replied. If I sell something he takes 30%. It seems these are the usual conditions, some galleries take 75%. What is it? In fact it is objects."