Skip to content

Photographs by David Alan Harvey

April 1, 2016 – July 13, 2016

“It’s a lot of work living the life that you want to live, but that’s what I’m doing.”

David Alan Harvey became a photographer at age 11 when he used the profits from his newspaper route to buy a used Leica. After graduating from the University of Missouri’s Graduate School of Journalism and time at the Topeka Capital-Journal, a grant from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts gave him the means to cover a variety of stories, including a year long reportage of Virginia Beach. He has produced over 40 photographic essays for National Geographic on subjects from hip hop culture to stock car racing. Among numerous other awards, he was named Photographer of the Year in 1978 by the National Press  Photographers Association.

Harvey has published multiple books including Cuba and Divided Soul, and the award winning book (based on a true story), a visual novella created to be rearranged and configured by the viewer. His work has been exhibited in the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Nikon Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. His photos have appeared in print in TimeThe New York Times and Sports Illustrated. He joined the prestigious photo agency Magnum as a nominee in 1993, and became a full member in 1997. In addition to his own work he also created and curates burn magazine which showcases emerging photographers.


New York Times Magazine photography columnist Teju Cole described Harvey as not only a “ferocious technician,” but a photographer with a consistent and unsentimental eye for human emotion, and a sense of color that “is among the boldest and most viscerally affecting in the game.” Though he is widely recognized as a brilliant color photographer, during an interview at Look3 Festival in Charlottsville, VA in 2015, Harvey said “I’ve always looked at color as an incredible struggle, and I still think of myself as a black and white photographer.  When people describe me as a color photographer, I’m a little surprised.” Citing a strong influence of Ansel Adams and the zone system, Harvey said he isn’t really conscious of color, but concentrates on the light. Vivid and full of chaos, his photos are dreamlike, veering into surreal, simultaneously haunting and engaging the viewer.

A special reception with photographer David Alan Harvey will be held at Paul Paletti Gallery on Thursday, April 7, 2016 from 5-8 pm.

Insider Louisville Press

The Voice Tribune

The Voice Tribune- Magnum Opus

David Alan Harvey- Pictures from opening by Crystal Ludwick