To honour New Zealand's most cherished art dealer, who nurtured artists such as Bill Hammond and Yvonne Todd from the ground up, Te Papa has published a book on the legendary Peter McLeavey.
For me, McLeavey and his gallery are the pioneers of New Zealand's creative sector; an inspiring example of how art dealer and artist must work together in harmony to support and respect one another.
Whilst many other NZ industries, such as design and music, lack strong commercial alliances that keep artists and industries alive, McLeavey has shown that artists don't need mega-corporations in order to have effective partnerships.
Tapping in to a community's culture, ideals and values has been a big part of the McLeavey DNA. Selling a story, an artist and a sense of place has been an effective tool to bring artists in to peoples worlds.
You might say that McLeavey is the quintessential marketer, with a gut feel for the market and social trends. His charming latter-day manner helps too, so authentic that every McLeavey family member possesses this same delicacy and regard for others.
Here's the trailer for the book "Peter McLeavey: The life and times of a New Zealand art dealer". It features the campaign I once shot in his gallery (picture above). It is a book to cherish.