Harold David

This and the Edge of the World

5 June – 30 June 2021

These are the paintings that define and celebrate a year of This and the Edge of the World one of Australia’s prominent abstract painters, multimedia artist Harold David.

Harold David has spent the last year in the backyard of his home in the Blue Mountains diligently painting his thoughts. In June 2021 Fox Galleries will debut Harold David as a represented artist with a new generation of abstract expressionism that leans into the refined initiates of postwar art.

Harold David is witty, engaging and sensitively attuned to expressions of emotions and physical space; an American-born, Australia-residing, fashion/portrait- photographer gone painter. While professing to paint from a young age, this consolidated medium was only presented to the public in the last two years, quickly captivating a fanfare for the gaily movement and freedom of musical symbolism that is difficult to fake. As the National Photographic Portrait Prize Winner in 2018 for his sardonic portrait of the people’s hero Bob Hawke, this series of large-scale paintings seamlessly amalgamates the sophisticated techniques instrumental to being behind a camera; composition, framing, colour and mood to present a fluid and energetic escape somewhere between the internal landscape and the edge of the physical world.

As you can imagine, this all around image seductress will be a whirlwind.

“Somewhere between the infinite meta physical world and our day to day physical world is where I have tapped into with this series of works. Its as much about making colourful expressive marks as its about an escape from our day to day isolation and existence. Whilst the escape is real the very inspiration for much of the work is from what is being escaped. Leaning into the emotion, tapping into the unknown, and composing to find beauty therein and all the while being guided by the music. Thank You to Pixies, Sonic Youth, Haley Hendrikx, PJ Harvey, Amanda Palmer, Patti Smith and Julia Jacklin.” – Harold David


Harold David is a multidisciplinary artist who draws his inspiration from life, his personal feelings and the universal field.

After establishing himself as one of Australia’s premier portrait photographers, Harold turned his focus to painting. “I have been painting since the age of 12. Growing up in America with a single mother who worked night shift in a factory, I used this time sneaking into her make-up bag and using her nail polishes as paint,” he says. “Now in my 50s I have mustered up enough courage to share my love of painting with the public.” His first solo exhibition for his painted works in October 2019 was a sold out show. When asked about his process he explains, “I put paint on the brush and I have faith and do it. As an Abstract Surrealist I apply pure automatism and invent my own figurative universes. I work in a spontaneous and fluid way and I don’t take into account coherence and sense.” There’s a sense of pure freedom in the work that’s universal and poignant.

Harold David’s photographic exhibition practice includes solo shows: Uniform World and Tracksuits of St Marys, Penrith Regional Gallery; Fujieda City Museum and Hakusan Citizen’s Arts Centre, Japan; Surface, Sydney Fringe Festival; Texas Trailer Park and Rapture, Rubyayre Gallery; Runway, Australian Centre for Photography, Others, Art Gallery of NSW, Garage Barbershop, Blacktown Arts Centre and Survey, Day Fine Art. His portrait of Bob Hawke drinking a milkshake won the 2018 National Portrait Prize – People’s Choice Award.

Artist Profile