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Director of Australia's oldest Indigenous art gallery Adrian Newstead launches his critically acclaimed book
Artist Rover Thomas.

LONDON.- The Dealer is the Devil is illuminating and thought-provoking. Throughout, Newstead’s humour, love and respect for his subjects produces a story that reads at times like a thriller, and at others like a lament for a lost world.

From remote indigenous communities with their dispossessed populations of tribal elders and troubled youth, to the gleaming white box galleries, high powered auction houses, and formidable art institutions of major cities all over the world, Adrian Newstead’s The Dealer is the Devil, is part memoir, part history, part political commentary. The book races from pre-contact and colonial days to the heady celebrations of the Sydney Olympics, and the devastating impact of the GFC.

In this insightful and anecdotal account the author journeys throughout Australia visiting remote nomads and urban fringe dwellers, many of whom became the most important artists of the Aboriginal art movement. From hippy to shop owner, respected art gallerist and eventually Managing Director of the highest grossing Australian owned art auction house in Australia, Newstead watched as the value of the Aboriginal art industry jump from one million dollars in 1970 to $200 million in 2000.

In this passionate and honest examination of the mechanisms of the Australian and international art market Newstead examines the way in which burgeoning sales have impacted on the art itself as it emerged during the 20th and 21st centuries to become Australia’s most important contribution to the history of world art. The seamless transitions from narrative

Adrian Newstead established Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Australia’s oldest continuously operating Aboriginal art gallery, in 1981. A former President of the Indigenous Art Trade Association and Director of Aboriginal Tourism Australia, he became the Head of Aboriginal Art for Lawson-Menzies in 2003, and Managing Director of Menzies Art Brands until 2008. In 2011 he was appointed President of the Art Consulting Association of Australia.

An Aboriginal art consultant, dealer and art commentator, Adrian Newstead has over 30 years’ experience working in Aboriginal and Australian contemporary art. He is a widely published arts commentator and author. Adrian Newstead and Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery are based in Bondi, New South Wales, Australia.

‘. . . completely devoid of the ethnographic jargon of the anthropologists or the arts speak of the arts industry apparatchiki. This is a much needed and anticipated book, which will introduce Aboriginal art to a new generation of readers, art lovers and collectors.’ Professor Sasha Grishin AM, FAHA, The Sir William Dobell Professor of Art History, Australian National University

‘Full of crucial history and unparalleled knowledge. It is a fabulous read.’ Fred Myers, Silver Professor, Department of Anthropology, New York University
‘The text is a masterpiece of arts writing. Clive Tilsley, Books+Publishing In this engaging book Adrian Newstead depicts the backstage of art business from the bush to the global scene, involving famous and some less known actors, all caught in dramas and conflicts that built up that industry. It reads like a novel.’ Dr. Barbara Glowczewski, Professorial Researcher at the CNRS, France, Adjunct Professor at James Cook University

‘Newstead's book cuts its course through the indigenous art world like a big river across the land .... sharp observations....thoughtful and sensible solutions... wistful recollections.’ Vivien Anderson, Gallery owner & Indigenous Australian art specialist

‘There is no one better equipped to deliver the knowledge contained in this book describing a slice of Australia history.’ Robert Bleakley, Former Director Tribal Art, Sotheby's UK, Founding CEO Sotheby's Australia

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June 18, 2014

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Director of Australia's oldest Indigenous art gallery Adrian Newstead launches his critically acclaimed book

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