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Fri, Nov 18, 2022

Aero-TV: David Uhl and the Lofty Art of Aircraft Portraiture

Still Life with Verve

David Uhl was born into a family of engineers and artists—a backdrop conducive to his gleaning a keen appreciation for the form, function, and beauty of machines, and an intuitive understanding of the passions they inspire.

Mr. Uhl purchased his first motorcycle in 1988, and his pencils, brushes, and artistic sensibilities hastened to document the arcane syncretisms of line, curve, and color by which the brute concomitantly aroused the intellectual and visceral ecstasies.

In 1993 Uhl got about the business of producing numerous best-selling artworks for Harley-Davidson apparel. Five years on, he presented his first oil painting at Harley-Davidson’s Milwaukee headquarters and was summarily welcomed as the company’s first-ever licensed oil painter.

Over the decades since, Mr. Uhl has created scores of bona fide masterpieces, each recounting in its way the rich history of the motorcycling concern founded by William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson. Uhl’s research comprises scrutiny of the company’s black-and-white photographic archives and the potent machines and restless zeitgeists enshrined therein.

David Uhl’s penchant for crafting vivid, high-fidelity renderings extends beyond motorcycles to encompass automotive, steampunk, and aviation themes. The latter, in particular, lends itself to Uhl’s uncanny ability to depict iconic designs against the backdrops of their respective historical eras.

Coaxed to life by Uhl’s brushes and brilliance, P-51 Mustangs thunder over wartime England’s green and pleasant land; downed Messerschmitt BF 109s lie shattered and decaying along the rocky shores of upland rivers; and wire and dope biplanes mesmerize well-heeled flappers. The images speak eloquently to the high-adventure, romance, and wonderment by which powered flight’s inaugural semi-centennial was characterized, and serve to distinguish David Uhl as a portraitist of well-earned renown.

As Hans Holbein the Younger immortalized Henry VIII’s trenchancy and LeRoy Neiman captured Michael Jordan’s supreme athleticism, so David Uhl showcases the majesty of humankind’s most storied machines and chronicles the epoch of their collective ascendancy.

Aero-TV is a production of the Internationally syndicated Aero-News Network. Seen worldwide by hundreds of thousands of aviators and aviation adherents, ANN's Aero-TV has produced over 5000 aviation and feature programs, including nearly 2000 episodes of our daily aviation news program, AIRBORNE UNLIMITED, currently hosted by Holland Lee. Now in its third decade of operation, parent company Aero-News Network, has the most aggressive and intensive editorial profile of any aviation news organization and has published nearly a half-million news and feature stories since its inception -- having pioneered the online 24/7 aviation new-media model that so many have emulated.

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