Art Brewer, a legendary surf photographer, has passed away. According to friends and family, a man who helped define surf photography in the late ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s has passed away. He was 71.
Art Brewer Cause of Death
Brewer has been struggling for his life since the summer, according to a GoFundMe site created to assist with his growing medical bills. Art had been in the hospital since July 2022, but he had the good fortune to get a liver transplant at UCLA in September. He has had ten surgeries throughout his therapy, and he’s still in the intensive care unit. His recovery has experienced infections and setbacks with each phase. The art brewer is a fighter!
Sadly, the guy who captured images of most of the surfing legends, including Gerry Lopez, Tom Curren, and Kelly Slater, lost his battle. Art Brewer cause of death , he lost the battle after fighting a lot. However, not before he had a profound influence on succeeding generations of surf photographers who worked for both SURFER and Surfing publications.
The Surf Culture Photography of Art Brewer
Contrary to most surf photographers, Art Brewer is more drawn to the rebellious art of the subculture than its sea-dance aesthetics. Brewer has steadfastly avoided the siren song of adorable sea turtles, maritime rainbows, and lovers sharing a passionate kiss as the sun sets during his illustrious 50-year career. I never wanted to be the person who takes pictures for postcards, he once said.
Brewer, who was born and bred in Laguna Beach, secured his first magazine cover at the age of 17 for Surfer in 1968, making him absolutely the youngest photographer to do so in the history of major surf publications. He has documented each cultural change in a never-ending sport during the succeeding decades.
According to Matt Warshaw, author of “The Encyclopedia of Surfing” and the sport’s foremost historian, “Others may have been at it as long, but none at Art’s level.” He just keeps on producing.
Brewer has traveled to Antarctica, South Africa, Sumatra’s coasts, and other places in search of novel viewpoints. While his job has taken him to places other than surfing. shooting for publications like Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, Esquire, and Playboy. He always, inexorably returns to Orange County and its coasts. All but one of these photos were taken not far from his Dana Point house.
Surfing’s Most Naturally gifted Photographer
We wouldn’t even be talking about Bunker Spreckels without all those wonderful Brewer photographs, the surf historian Matt Warshaw once told me. “Bunker served as Art’s muse in numerous ways. He helped Art become a better photographer by bringing out his talent”.
Art, who was dubbed “the sport’s most naturally gifted surf photographer,” dominated the American surf magazines in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s before leaving to pursue more lucrative commercial work, even though his passion for surfing never wavered.
Much of Brewer’s best work has been done as a portraitist, where he has unrestricted control over light, texture, and mood. Brewer’s eye for color and framing is unsurpassed in the surf industry.
Art Brewer was a “Free-Swinging bullshit destroyer”
Art Brewer, who passed away at the age of 71, had a remarkable reach. From Griffin to Stoner to Lopez, Rabbit, Curren, Slater, and up to John John, he knew them all. They adored him. Even though they may have occasionally fought, they still adored him because he made them all seem so damn good and because he was one of those free-swinging bullshit destroyers. True, he lacked Flippy Hoffman’s snarling poetic eloquence. But there was no denying that Art called people as he saw them.
Mr. Brewer taught a yearly class with our contributing photographer, JP Van Swae in Puerto Rico. “There never was someone so gruff at times, and also so willing to share everything with you,” JP told me. “Behind the persona of ‘Art’, there was an unbelievable 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 explain the amount of knowledge and friendship he shared with me.”
Art, along with JP, would teach aspiring photogs the trade, openly and honestly, and was always a wealth of information. “I consider myself an open book to any student who wants to read me,” he once said. “There is nothing that I hold back.”