Lot 208
  • 208

Brian Uhing

150,000 - 250,000 HKD
1,125,000 HKD
bidding is closed


  • Brian Uhing
  • The Beekeeper
  • signed
  • oil on canvas
  • 122 by 91.5 cm; 48 by 36 in.

Catalogue Note

Brian Uhing summons folklore and mythology to visually narrate how inspiration and dreams infuse his being, suffuse his soul, and ultimately animate his works of art. For Uhing, ideas, philosophies, and convictions breathe life into his works with color, texture and form.

Across a swathe of cultures in the olden times, bees were venerated for the honey they brought as “gifts from the gods”. In the present piece, a shimmering honeycomb is wrapped around the neck of a resplendent muse, like a garland of gold, catching the viewer’s eye as it rests on her delicate shoulders. The regal lady also wears a skep – the cylindrical beehive woven from dried reeds atop her head – which represents reverence for the ancients who deified bees as “messengers of the gods.” She gestures with her right hand, an open invitation for eight larger than life bees teeming around her freely. With her left hand, she cradles a palette with a bee that provided honey as her medium of painting.

Uhing juxtaposes this surrealism with his hyper realistic style of painting, reminiscent of Dutch masters from the 1700s. His subject poses in the style of a court portrait, clothed in luxurious fabrics as aristocracy would be. The dominant colors of red and gold also connote wealth and status, adding to the suggestion that the figure is one of great importance. Coupled with the meaning behind the use of bees as a symbol, Uhing is making a statement about affluence as a blessing.