Peel off a shekel or two and help a legend in the surf game…
It’s impossible to overstate the influence ol’ Arty Brewer, the American surf photographer who, among other things, created the legend that surrounds the surfer Bunker Spreckels, who died aged 27 after walloping a fifty-mill inheritance in six years.
“Without all those incredible Brewer photos, we wouldn’t even be talking about Bunker Spreckels,” Warshaw told me a few years back. “Bunker in many ways was Art’s muse. He made Art a better photographer, helped bring out the genius.”
Art, who is seventy-one and “referred to as the sport’s most naturally gifted surf photographer”, owned the seventies, eighties, nineties in the American surf mags before splitting to do more lucrative commercial work, although his surf spirit still soared.
“Brewer’s size (he once weighed nearly 300 pounds) and flaring temper, meanwhile, further suggested the idea of grand, even explosive creative talent. At times Brewer played on his aggression. Asked to supply a self-portrait for a 1997 portfolio, ‘this big elephant seal of a man,’ as described by surf journalist Evan Slater, provided a green-tinged face shot negative, jaggedly cut in two, then taped and stapled back together, with the handwritten caption: ‘Surf photography constipates me!’”
But also: “Brewer’s eye for color and framing is unmatched in the surf world, and much of his best work has been done as a portraitist, when he has unfettered control over light, texture, and mood.”
Art has been in UCLA’s intensive care unit since July following a liver transplant.
And, this being the US, his fam is drowning under medical bills. In a GoFoundMe set up for Brewer, Nena Cote writes,
Art has recently been experiencing life-threatening medical issues that have become a substantial financial burden and stress on his family. I have organized this fundraiser to help pay for medical bills and ongoing care. The bills are exorbitant with his extended hospital stay and specialty critical care…the first bill received exceeds 250K (with insurance!)
One-fifty gees sought, thirty-two in the bag so far.