Updated: Feb 27, 2018
Surf Art as a genre
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Surf Art is a fairly niche genre. It appears that many are inspired by the ocean and there is much on offer in terms of water in the art world, but it remains that surf painting has never really worked for me.
Film and Photography
The greatest expression of surf art undoubtedly comes in the form of film and photography. This is because film can capture the essence of surfing as a lifestyle and photographers can get close to the action and shoot stills of surfers locking into barrels. Both forms make surfing tangible and show it in all its glory.
Films like Albe Falzon's cult classic Morning of the Earth capture perfectly what it means to be a surfer and allow us to access great moments in surfing history. The photographs taken by the likes of Jeff Divine in the 1970s show us great moments in wave riding history and allow us to freeze frame the likes of Gerry Lopez in a Pipeline barrell.
Painting simply does not have the versatility to show surfing at its best, in my humble opinion; however, when I discovered the woodblock prints of the late, great John Severson I felt I had found an artistic medium that captured not only great images in surfing, but that also had a didactic element that allowed the viewer to interact with the prints on a different level.
Another person who I feel has captured the essence of surfing in their art is the Brazilian digital artist Tom Veiga His bold lines and imagined surfscapes seem to tap into the ethereal quality that surfing has.
So, it is to John Severson I owe the idea of using printing as a medium, to Tom Veiga that I owe the bold lines and simplicity of my prints and to the history makers and the medium of film and photography that I owe the snapshots of this great sport.