The Dealer is the Devil

1 Book Launch

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.


About the Book 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 to history are compelling and highly evocative and coloured with vivid portraits of artists, dealers, scamsters, anthropologists and academics.

About Adrian Newstead 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.

Click here to read some of the reviews (PDF)

Add to my gallery