There’s no better surf shop to host a ’70s-focused surf photography exhibition than Mollusk, the surf temple to all things retro. On April 12, iconic lensman and former SURFER photo editor, Jeff Divine, will present some of his favorite works, including many rarely-seen photos, in a slideshow/surf art presentation at Mollusk’s San Francisco location. He will be joined by art book publisher Tom Adler, who has put out a couple of gorgeous volumes of Divine’s work in years past, Surfing Photographs From the Seventies Taken by Jeff Divine, and Surf ’80s Divine. Divine will be signing copies of his newest books after the slideshow.
Divine’s presentation will meander through the evolution of surf photography from its soulful, grassroots vibe in the ’70s through the surf-wear boom of the ’80s that changed the nature of the business completely. He would know better than most, having joined the SURFER staff as photographer in 1968, then photo editor three years later, a post he held for 18 years before moving on to The Surfer’s Journal. Divine’s work in the ’70s often captured surf breaks in their unspoiled, uncrowded golden eras, especially his photographs of the Gerry Lopez-era North Shore. He was always aware of the ramifications of publishing photos of little-ridden surf spots. “A camera is like the first bulldozer,” Divine once told an interviewer. “If the surf’s on, and the shots end up tagged and ID’d on a light table somewhere in Orange County, it’s the beginning of the end for that break. A crowd is on the way 10 minutes after the shots are published.”
Safe to say, a crowd will be on the way to Mollusk for the exhibition too. The show is free, and runs from 7-10 p.m. on Saturday, April 12.