Dave Smith is originally from England where he studied painting at Derby College of Art (now University of Derby) and Hornsey College of Art, London (now Middlesex University).
After several years of part-time teaching in U.K. art schools, he collaborated with 3 other artists in forming Electric Colour Company, an artist collective based in Shoreditch, London, engaged in the design and production of shop interiors, signage, fashion accessories and custom car finishes, primarily for the innovative London fashion scene of late 1960’s, with the iconic pop art-infused Mr. Freedom store at 430 King’s Road, Chelsea being their debut assignment.
Electric Colour Company dissolved their partnership in 1972, and shortly afterwards in 1973, Smith left England for a teaching post in the Bahamas, where he resumed his painting practice, embarking on a prolific period of work with photo-realist and neo-pop overtones which he showed in a series of 8 solo exhibitions and numerous group shows, both in Nassau and Miami, Florida. He remained in the Bahamas for 17 years and subsequently became one of 11 principal artists featured in the acclaimed 2008 documentary feature film ‘Artists of the Bahamas’, which explores the lives and work of key artists who contributed to the initial art movement in the Bahamas.
In 1990, he left the Bahamas and moved to Los Angeles, supporting himself initially by painting billboards and subsequently working as a union scenic artist in TV and motion picture studios.
Although much of his work comments on contemporary American society, he still draws on his Caribbean experience, continuing to show his work in the Bahamas as well as in the U.S.
In recent years, he has been in group shows in Leipzig, Germany; Vienna, Austria; New Orleans; Tallahassee, Florida; Waterloo, Iowa and New York City.