According to friends and family, iconic photographer Art Brewer, who defined surf photography in the late 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, has died. He was 71.
A GoFundMe account has been established to assist with Brewer’s mounting medical expenses. “Art Was Fortunate To Receive A Liver Transplant At Ucla In September,” it said, “Hospitalized Since July, 2022.”He has had ten surgeries and is still in the intensive care unit. Infections and setbacks have occurred with each step forward in his healing. “Art is a Fight!”
Unfortunately, the man who photographed the majority of surfing’s greats, from Gerry Lopez to Tom Curren to Kelly Slater, passed away. But not before he influenced future generations of surf photographers by shooting for Surfer and Surfing magazines.” quite possibly the best all-around surf photographer ever,” Tom Servais wrote.
“The goat of surf photography died last night,” Brian Bielmann said. “My hero was artist Brewer, and he will always be my favourite photographer.” “Art taught me how to see the beauty that God created and then share it with everyone through my camera lens.”
Mr. Brewer and our contributing photographer, JP Van Swae, taught a yearly class in Puerto Rico.” There’s never been someone so gruff at times but also so willing to share everything with you,” JP said. “Behind the persona of “Art” was an incredible amount of love influenced by his wife Kathy, his daughter Alana and her husband Dillon, and his two grandchildren Elynn and Griffin.””I can’t express how much knowledge and friendship he gave me.”
Art, along with JP, was a wealth of information and would openly and honestly teach aspiring photographers the trade. He once stated, “I consider myself an open book to any student who wants to read me.” “I don’t hold anything back.”
I first met Art at his home in Dana Point, above San Juan Capistrano, in the early 2000s. He informed me that he charged by the hour and that he would have our project ready when we arrived.
His name had preceded him. Me and another editor were doing a wetsuit test in his pool while wearing Mexican Luchador masks and wrestling under the water (Serious Stuff, Pitting Wetsuit Against Wetsuit).
Art was intrigued by and liked our idea. He wasn’t a small man, standing nearly 6’4′′, and he wasn’t moving well, but he still ambled into his own wetsuit, encased his camera in its water housing, and slid into the pool. He was completely immersed in the shoot, taking some stunning photos.
While directing us as we grappled at the bottom. I Wish I Could Show You Those Pictures. We discussed the business when we got out. And then there’s life. As We Were Leaving, He Said, “Fun shooting.” “Thank you for involving me.”
Thank you, Art. For anything.
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