Review from ‘THE SURFER’S JOURNAL’
Surf Culture: The Art History of Surfing By Bolton Colburn, Ben Finney, Tyler Stallings, C.R. Stecyk, Deanne Stillman, and Tom Wolfe
Designed by David Carson LAM/Gingko Press; softbound: www.lagunaartmuseum.org
260 pages: $ 39.95
My review hopper runneth over. Suffering through a mini-boom in surf-book publishing, the wire rack I nicked from the dumpster is exploding with camp, kitsch, funk, and dross. I could return most to the Slush Pile Gods and do us all a favor. Exaggerating? You’re denying the existence of a 32-page saddle-stitched pamphlet on the deodorization of wetsuit booties? A 340-page coffee-table book on the history of Newport’s Echo Beach era? Permanent Wave: Surfer Hairstyles? The unexpurgated Filosa?
Welcome to my world.
But there was a diamond in the slag; Bolton Colburn had forwarded a copy of the catalog for that smoking Laguna show (“Mana Overboard”TSJ 11.5) and it’s over the top. We’re talking way better than it needed to be. Rather than a laundry list of items in the show, it’s a deeply vigorous look at the art history and pop interface of surfing. Like the show itself, you don’t want to miss a drop of it. Carson is all up in this thing, so it’s a vibrating eye feast of bent graphics. What, you aren’t running to the phone yet? -S.H.