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Harold David used to focus primarily on fashion photography but in the past four years he has switched his practice to painting and we love the results. Here he talks to us a week out from his upcoming exhibition This and The Edge of the World at Fox Galleries in Melbourne.

When did you switch from photography to painting as your preferred medium/passion? 

“In 2017 I started painting again. Vince Day saw the work and took me on as one of his artists and the transition began as more time was spent painting than taking photographs. I have found the transition as very natural and seamless.”

What or who inspired you to paint?

“I’d have to say Post War abstract expressionists, the work of Hilma Af Klimt and a music list from Haley Hendrickxs to Sonic Youth to Pixies and Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith all inspire me.” 

Mentor? Teacher? 

“Carol Spoor, my 4th grade teacher and quite a few abstract painters that have paved the way forward. From the work of Willem deKooning, Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler and my mother.” 

How would you describe your painting? 

“I’m an abstract expressionist and surrealist. I tap into the Universal Field and express my emotions with paint and create a world onto itself within the painting. That world does not make coherence or sense but we as viewers can apply our own narrative.”

What lies at the heart of your work? 

“An escape from the chaos but I lean into the very chaos that I’m escaping from, thus creating work that sits somewhere between the physical world and my own inner landscape. My eye is still that of a photographer as well, so I have, within the freedom, a good foundation of composition, colour and gradient.” 

What do you hope the viewer might feel? 

“I think we’re connected, all of us. My paintings speak on a sub conscious and visceral level and one I hope the viewer can relate to even if they can’t find the words to describe it.” 

Most surprising moment in this painting journey so far? 

“That the work and the freedom therein has had an appeal and that I am making a living from it. That along with fantastic gallerists who believe in me and have responded to my work in the most nurturing and enthusiastic ways.”

You live in the Blue Mountains - how does this influence your eye? 

“It’s misty, rarely clear, it’s cold so I go inside and go within my own self. It’s quiet where I am so I can easily tap into my own emotions and feelings. There’s a magic and mysticism in the air and I am no longer caught up in what’s not important, thanks to living here.”

Favourite area here? 

“My 3x6m studio that I built in my backyard.”

What’s next? 

“I’ve got the exhibition coming up [opens June 8-30 June] at Fox Galleries in Melbourne called, “This and the Edge of the World” and a solo show at Mr. Minty’s Gallery in Sydney September. Also, I’m having a show in December at Day Gallery in Blackheath, NSW. It’s all a fantastic journey!”

Outside With The Cuties
Cargo Voyage
Spiralling Art Last
On The Bird Walk Sensation