Skip to content

Art Brewer 2019 Surf Culture

His action and lifestyle images continue to rank highly in the annals of surf history

A top lensmen during the golden era of surf magazines, Art Brewer’s eye for color and framing has virtually gone unmatched since he first picked up a camera back in 1967. And just one year after he began shooting, Brewer nailed his first Surfer magazine cover shot. Of course, there was nowhere to go from there but up.

The Dana Point, California native, who began surfing in 1963 at age 12, was Surfer’s dominate photographer from 1968-1971, at one point shooting six out of nine covers. In 1971, he jumped to Surfing magazine until returning to Surfer in 1975 where he eventually served a stint as the mag’s photo editor. 

While his action and lifestyle images continue to rank highly in the annals of surf history, it was his portraiture that set him apart. Brewer’s idyllic concoction of mood, light and texture seemingly immortalized his subjects.

His photos have been published in countless mainstream magazines like Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, Playboy and Esquire (where he shot the 1992 cover). Masters of Surf Photography: Art Brewer, published by The Surfer’s Journal, is a luxurious 250-page hardcover offering a comprehensive retrospect of Brewer’s work.



02_049_PMcabe_Masters_131 001
Photo courtesy of Art Brewer. '81 Peter McCabe at Padang Padang, Bali.
Photos courtesy of Art Brewer