“surfer/photographer joe curren’s first photo book collects together his most treasured images from destinations like Ireland, Taiwan, and West Africa. A true natural, Curren evokes the raw feeling of searching for waves, beauty and humanity”
“born into surfing royalty, Joe Curren’s new book, one, marks another coronation of sorts for the Santa Barbara native and world-class photographer. One is a visual odyssey—completely devoid of words or page numbers until the very end — that celebrates a life less ordinary, lived in search of moments and experiences akin to sun-soaked rainstorms and flowers blooming through a crack in the sidewalk.”
As a professional surfer, Curren has been on the road searching for waves for much of his adult life, and luckily for us, he has often had a camera in hand. With an eye that is trained by both surf lust and an appreciation for nature, Curren’s decidedly non-digital camera harvests fresh looks at well-known places Pipeline and Kirra while also culling stoke-inspiring shots from unlikely surf outposts like Norway and Lake Superior in Minnesota. And while page-popping empty lineup shots, exploding with early morning or late evening light, are the bread and butter of the book, the true gems of One are Curren’s foray into naturescapes. Years spent sitting in the lineup, letting the weather roll in around him, and watching the days dawn and sunset from a board rider’s perspective at far-flung lineups the world over have given Curren a remarkable sense of timing and sensibility to the rhythms and all-too-fleeting moments of beauty dished out by Mother Nature. You get the impression, looking at his work — such as the haunting black-and-white Ansel Adams-esque shots from Iceland and Greece—that Curren stalks these moments for days on end, lying in wait with his camera, saving each precious exposure until all the variables come together in a glorious cacophony of light, subject, and view.
His photos, much like his surfing, have become a balance of timing, function, and flow made brilliant by his subtleness and appreciation of the sublime.” One is a testament to the remarkable catalog of soul-stirring photographs Curren has amassed in his relatively short time taking pictures.”
–ethan stewart, from the santa barbara independent
“for me, the images create a contemplative silence out of the clutter and complexity of travel.They speak of the subtle forgotten moments of life—things, people, places you see and enjoy but forget or neglect to record in journals and photos or when you return and your friends only have time for a three sentence summary. The style is cohesive yet not overbearing or formulaic, but rather inviting, calming, intriguing. The images seem to conversationally ask questions rather than provide concrete solutions. And finally, the collection does the work of the poet, telling in 10 words rather than the novelists in 10,000—reducing, simplifying and deepening, inspiring. The long and the short of it … I dig it.”
–chris orwig, faculty, brooks institute of photography