Rob Keller
Mummified Bees, 2003
Jacquard tapestry
29 x 54 in.

Rob Keller is an artist and veterinary technician whose work often involves animal mummifications and x-rays. In 1998, Keller struck a deal with his workplace: in lieu of a raise, he would have unlimited access to the x-ray machine for personal projects. Keller also raises bees: to create the image in Mummified Bees, the artist collected bee remains from their unceremonious resting place in front of the hive and dried them on a screen. He then dipped them in barium to make them radiodense, dried them again on wax paper, and took them to his veterinary office for x-raying. The tapestry’s softened contrast and comforting physicality lend a layer of meaning to Keller’s enigmatic photograph; woven, the image takes on a reverent and soulful aspect.