The Memories Come Back in Waves




“john severson’s surf” is a book that presents the languid-meets-extreme-thrills lifestyle of surfing through paintings and vivid photography. while his were among the first surf movies, it was the posters associated with them, hugely popular when issued in the 1950s and 1960s, that remain collector favorites today. showcased in these early posters, his graphic skills translated easily to surfer magazine which he founded in 1960. the magazine was the first to celebrate and revolutionize the art and sport of surfing, establishing it as a powerful pop culture phenomenon.

severson expanded his career to include photography, with photographs appearing in life, sports illustrated, paris match and other print venues. the first issue was a 36-page collection of black-and-white photos, cartoon sketches and short articles—almost every aspect of which was created by severson himself. as the magazine grew in popularity, so did his graphic work and paintings. by lb