Born in Santa Barbara and raised surfing the classic California point breaks of Rincon and The Ranch, Joe Curren spent his younger years earning a reputation as a world class surfer, far-flung traveler and later as a photographer, using his camera to capture profound yet often-overlooked facets of the surfing journey and beyond.
The youngest son of 1950’s surfing pioneer and shaper, Joe inherited his father’s restless nature and fine sense of functional style both in and out the water, while his older brother — a transcendent surfer and three-time world champion — instilled in him an irrevocable sense of style both understated and moving, which he translated from his surfing into his photography.
At first, Curren documented his travels with little more than a disposable point and shoot camera. However, after a trip to New Zealand in 1999 — when especially pleased with the results — he decided to invest in a basic 35mm rig that he packed alongside his surfboards and wetsuits. Since picking up a camera, Joe’s travels include São Tome in equatorial Africa, Sri Lanka, Greece, and Hokkaido in northern Japan.
Joe’s surfing has been featured in the films Good Times (1996), The Fifth Symphony Document (2001), Glass Love (2004), Thread (2007) and One California Day (2007). His photos have been exhibited at galleries in San Francisco, Portland, New York, London, Paris, Sydney, São Paulo and Tokyo. A survey of Curren’s photographic work has been published as a limited edition in One, by Bueno! Books Japan.
In 2009, Joe and his wife Teasha — an Oregon native — moved to Crescent City, a small town on California’s north coast hemmed in by mountain ranges, “wild and scenic” rivers and Redwood National Park.
–steve barilloti, Field Editor, Surfer Magazine