Born in the Netherlands in 1957, Leestemaker was largely self-taught as an artist but took inspiration and guidance from his grandfather, a painter in the Dutch court. In his native land, Leestemaker was an organizer and entrepreneur in several arts, including visual art, theater, and literature. Working in Amsterdam, he helped found a performing arts center, an art collective, and a monthly magazine devoted to business and the arts. He was managing director of Leestemaker & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in arts marketing, financing, and public relations that at its height boasted the Dutch government's cultural portfolio as its most prominent client.
In the 1990s, Leestemaker moved to Los Angeles. After a stint as an actor and model, he turned to painting full time. Leestemaker developed a style influenced by Abstract Expressionism in both its American and European forms. He eventually evolved a more lyrical style, in which the expansive brushstrokes and vivid palette of Abstract Expressionism becalm themselves, ultimately taking on the composition and atmosphere of land- and seascapes. Vigorous, yet imbued with art-historical reference, his paintings have a distinctive and evocative style.
In 2005, Leestemaker created a private art fund to mentor and invest in emerging and established artists such as sculptor Patrick Marold, photographer Richard D’Amore, and composer Vincent Ho. In 2006, Ho used four paintings of the artist as inspiration for a chamber music composition, “Four Paintings By Leestemaker.”
The artist also collaborated with famed composer and musician Charlie Haden and created the artwork for Haden’s 2005 Grammy Award-winning CD “Land of the Sun.” His collaboration with Hollywood’s film industry has led to a number of film and television projects including “Spiderman,” “Bringing Down the House,” “Erin Brockovich,” “Shopgirl “Spiderman III,” “Fracture,” and “Boston Legal.”
In March 2012, Leestemaker was selected as a Star of Design in the art category by the Pacific Design Center. On May, 18, 2012, Leestemaker passed away peacefully on his 55th birthday. As well as being a part of major corporate and private collections, Leestemaker’s work continues to be exhibited widely throughout North America and Europe, in museums, commercial galleries, and various public spaces. In 2014, Luc’s work was selected for exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Beijing (MoCA Beijing).