Harold David is an abstract painter that 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 fifties I have mustered up enough courage to share my love of painting with the public.”

“I tap into the unknown space that we all share as humans.” Harold David

 The man has serious style. Harold’s first solo exhibition for his painted works in October 2019 was a sold-out show. When asked about his process Harold 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 and landscapes. 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.”

Hanging in the studio – “A Friend Called 5” 157 x 190mm

Harold together with Mr Minty’s have scheduled an exhibition at the iconic Sydney store in October, which was originally scheduled for September, or as soon as Covid lockdown restrictions are lifted. Titled “Subterrane” the exhibition pieces have a theme as explained by Harold “Abstracted Modern Day cave markings drawn from our natural world and my subconcious. Familiar yet Other and Beautiful.”

Sitting pretty in the window of Mister Minty’s Potts Point Sydney during lockdown is “He Plays the Silver Ball” 180 x 160

A LA MODE SYDNEY had the opportunity to talk to Harold David

ALMS: Harold, thank you for taking the time to talk to A LA MODE SYDNEY. We are huge fans of your artistic talents.  Could you tell us how you began as an artist?

HD: Thank You. I think we’re all born artists. Some of us realise it and some don’t. I’ve always been one but a practicing photography artist in the late 90’s and a painter in 2017. Although I’ve done both from an early age.

ALMS: What inspires your art?

HD: Life, my subconsciousness, our connection as humans, my need to express myself and my love of beauty within the chaos.

ALMS: Your first solo exhibition was in October 2019 which was a sold-out show at Day Gallery. Harold how did your first exhibition impact your future?

HD: Changed my direction and life completely and I just had another sold out show at Fox Galleries in Melbourne. I’m living my passion. Sound cheesy? But it’s true

ALMS: You have an exhibition planned to show at Mr Minty’s Potts Point. Unfortunately, Covid has postponed it. Could you tell us a little about the exhibition?

HD: “Subterrane” is an exploration of abstract marks inspired by cave markings. As if someone was to look at the work 2000 years from now to get an insight as to the world of today. Of course, none of it makes linear and clear sense but there is an overwhelming emotional and expressive reading into our lives today. The chaos, the beauty, the not knowing, the humanity. The marks are at once familiar and OTHER.

ALMS: Do you prefer to paint large scale art? How much time do you spend creating each artwork?

HD: I do. Bigger is better! It varies. Some take six months before it is resolved. Some take two days to resolve. Each has a life and mind of its own. It instructs me.

ALMS:  Is there a process that you follow every time you start a painting?

HD: Hit it every time with a paint on my hands and my stereo playing.

ALMS: Harold, you have a very strong social media presence. How can art be ‘social’? Is this important to you?

HD: I love sharing. I love being shared with. It’s an extension of all of us. Its fun and not to be taken too seriously.

ALMS: Does politics or current affairs influence your art?

HD: Yes.

ALMS: Do you collect art yourself?

HD: Yes, and I started in the 90’s. I’ve got pieces from Rhys Lee, Thomas Campbell, Alex Kopps etc. I just buy what I love that’s in my price range and quite a few of the artists have gone on to have international careers.

Off to @fox_galleries in Melbourne “Stay the Night with the City” 150 x 200mm (Sold before it got there)


Harold David’s solo shows (both painting and photography)

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


Australian Centre for Photography

Others Art Gallery of NSW

Garage Barbershop

Blacktown Arts Centre and Survey, “

Beauty and the Apocalypse” and 2”020 in one Eye”

Day Gallery

“No Boundaries” Gang Gang Gallery

“This and the Edge of the World” Fox Galleries”

“Subterrane” Mr Mintys October

“Threshold” Day Gallery December

Harold David’s portrait of Bob Hawke drinking a milkshake won the 2018 National Portrait Prize – People’s Choice Award.

Finalist in the Fisher Ghost Prize

“A dance that’s 50% spontaneous, 50% intentional. Hours go by sitting, looking and deciding. Hours fly by on my feet, listening to Nico wanting to escape to the Valley of the Kings.” Harold David


“Some paintings are hard to part with and “On the Bird Walk Sensation” is now in a new collectors home. Back when I just finished her and she lived in my studio. Always grateful.” Harold David

Harold sits in the studio with “Even Outside of Dreams” 152 x 167 which he has dedicated to his mother – “For Mamma Always beautiful”

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