Ten Artists on the Beach

From Brooklyn’s Coney Island to the shores of the Caribbean, Southern California to the seaside in Siberia, these ten photographers point their lenses to bare-skinned and leisurely sunbathers on the quintessential land of relaxation: the beach.

Massimo Vitali: “Every beach is a perfect beach. What I don’t like is what is commonly referred to as the ‘perfect beach’—the deserted palm-lined Caribbean stereotype, which totally bores me. I quite simply wouldn't know what to look at!” Source

Joni Sternbach: “I grew up around the ocean, and had the ocean as a destination. I spent time as a kid with my grandmother in places like Rockaway and Long Beach. That is my early connection. It is a place I feel I must be close to. I love to swim in the ocean. I feel it is a primal source. I love its cyclical nature and its timelessness. The beach is a place where we can exist in some other time frame and for me, it is a complete escape from the “dressed-up” lifestyle required in the city or at work. I do think that photographing water allows us to think about time and time passing. The photographs capture time or slow it down, giving the water a quality that’s hard to imagine without the medium of photography.” Source

Ed Templeton: “I go to the beach and pier in my hometown of Huntington Beach and shoot the people and scene down there. I may shoot as little as 15 photos, or as many as six rolls, depending on the day or the time I spend there.” Source

Richard Misrach: “I grew up in Los Angeles and spent a lot of time in the ocean. I have always had a great passion for (and healthy fear of) the sea. As a photographer in the 1970s, my first major color project was on the jungles of Hawaii, and I have returned there periodically to work and vacation ... The sand marks land’s end. Perhaps it is the last foothold. But it, too, is precarious and deceptive. Sand is, after all, terra firma decimated and eroded, and as the recent tsunamis remind us, not much of a refuge. On the other hand, with the sea there is no ambiguity. It is terrifying and beautiful, the very definition of the sublime.” Source

Richard Phillips: “I guess in 2000 is when I began surfing in Rockaway ... I just got back from living in Hawaii and during that time I was bodyboarding and not surfing, and when I came back to New York with a friend, he said this bodyboarding thing is not going to work here, so I caught my first wave on my birthday. You have to respect [the ocean] in every way.”Source