Gallery Reception: Phil Uhl

Hawaii-based artist Phil Uhl has been depicting the high seas in his vivid multimedia works for five decades.


His photographs have graced the covers of numerous sailing publications, and he has produced Emmy Award-winning television and documentaries on the world’s top yacht races, including the America’s Cup.

Ahead of his exhibition at the Frederick Harris Gallery (June 12–July 9), the acclaimed painter discusses his maritime inspirations.

Tips for capturing sailing images?
Use a long lens and concentrate on capturing the people actively participating in the sport. Keeping your lens dry, a level horizon, focus and good composition are also important.

What’s your most memorable image?
In 2013, Larry Ellison’s Oracle Team USA sailed to seven straight victories to tie New Zealand in the 34th America’s Cup. Thousands of people jammed the San Francisco Bay shoreline as Oracle finished the final race 44 seconds ahead of the Kiwis to win the cup. I was fortunate to capture the moment.

Where’s your favorite photographic destination?
The Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez in the south of France. When you place every type of sail and powerboat imaginable in front of historic architecture and that fantastic Mediterranean light, you end up with a visual marine paradise.

Hairiest experience?
In the late ’60s, I was crewing on a race in Lake Erie when a fierce thunderstorm came out of nowhere. I was trimming the spinnaker sheet from the deck and the block my line was fed through came apart during a strong gust of wind. The line wrapped around my neck. I immediately let go of the line. When I did, the sail pulled so fast that it tore all the skin off the front of my neck.

Gallery Exhibition
Jun 12–Jul 9

Gallery Reception
Free
Open to adults, invitees and Members only

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