Crane Kalman Brighton is proud to announce the first UK exhibition of photographer Jeff Divine's iconic surfing images – Surfing's Golden Age: The Seventies Kodachromes. After recent first showings in Los Angeles and New York, the exhibition will open at Crane Kalman Brighton on 23rd July.
The Seventies birthed a new generation of surfers, with a new language, new attitude and – with the advent of the short board – a new way of surfing. Like LeRoy Grannis in the decade before him, Divine captured the time in a comprehensive, on-the-spot fashion. At a time when surf media was still a nascent, near-underground affair, Divine's vision was vibrantly tuned the times and captured the free-spirited nature embodied by a sport in its adolescence.
This was the decade of Hippies, long hair, Mexican wedding shirts and bell-bottoms. Santana, The Dead, Steppenwolf and the Stones were on the stereo, hallucinogenic drugs and free love were everywhere and Vietnam had left an entire generation of disillusioned youth. And for those surfers making (or non-making) a life for themselves on the swells on the North Shore, that culture was apparent, but with one distinguishing factor: their prized possessions were their garage-made surfboards all lined up in the side yard. That was what mattered most.
This was the time of the glorious Barry Kanaiaupuni carves and delicate-yet-dangerous pitch-outs at Pipeline. Rory Russell and Gerry Lopez reigned as kings. Surfing had reached a Zen-like, escapist zeal. According to Divine, "It was all about the karma you had, that and going with the flow. We really believed that when the surf was on that's what it was all about: good vibes actually caused good waves to happen. I surfed first and then shot photos. As things got more serious, I shot first and surfed later." Photographing the second generation of surfers, Divine impressively captures the feeling of being on the beach during its most creative era and at the inception of a subculture too large and photogenic to stay down long.
Growing up in La Jolla, Jeff Divine began taking pictures of fellow surfers in his hometown during the 1960s and got to know the original alternative sport before the mainstream media blew it into the commercial kingdom it has now come to be. His photo focus took him into a staff position in 1971 with Surfer Magazine, where he would begin the first of some 35 annual trips to the North Shore.
In 1981, Divine would become the Photo Editor of the magazine, a position he held for the next 16 years. Today, Divine is the Photo Editor at The Surfer's Journal and continues to contribute to Surfer. Divine was the focus of The Surfers Journal's second ode to the master photographers in 2000 with Masters of Surf Photography: Jeff Divine. A collection of Jeff's work has been published by T. Adler as 'Surfing Photographs from the Seventies Taken by Jeff Divine'.
Jeff Divine: Surfing's Golden Age – The Seventies Kodachromes runs at Crane Kalman Brighton from 23rd July to 31stAugust. For any further information or imagery, please contact Richard Kalman on 01273 697096 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The British Surfing Museum
Download press release [PDF, 100KB]