World renown surf photographer, Tony Arruza of West Palm Beach, is nearing the completion of a 5 year project in-the-making “15 Surfboards by 15 Shapers”. This particular series is close to his heart because he combines two of his greatest passions into one creative expression. The idea was simple, Tony wanted to showcase his photography using a medium he had an affinity for, surfboards. It’s rare to find products where quality and craftsmanship parallel one another throughout. These functional surfboards have been shaped by artists of equal caliber. Tony chose iconic surfboard shapers like Pat Rawson, Dick Brewer, Matt Kechele, Jim Phillips, and Bob McTavish to create these fine works of art.
Completing the Series
We were happy to hear that he was preparing for a journey to Australia this summer (2015) to round out the series where he will complete the final surfboard with Bob McTavish in Byron Bay. To shed light on how he decided on which photos to use, Tony said, “The images, in a sense, retrace the steps in his own life, beginning with the first seven boards produced in Florida, where he grew up after moving as a child from Cuba. Then on to his start in surf photography in Puerto Rico, where he lived after college. One of his favorite boards was shaped in Hawaii with a picture he took of a surfer at Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu in the early 1980s. The board was shaped in the same “pin tail” style of the boards used for big-wave surfing during that era.” – PBDaily News
While at home you’ll find him hanging with his son, surfing Palm Beach, doing yoga, or somehow finding time to give back to the surf community that has given him such an amazing platform over the years. He’s a bit of a legend, a wealth of knowledge and a mentor to aspiring photographers. Flashback to 1989, Tony Arruza’s photos of Reef Road made the spreads of Surfing Magazine attracting surfers from all over the East Coast to seek out the private barreling left beach-break.
Coming Spring 2016
Arruza’s 15 Surfboards by 15 Shapers world premiere exhibit is scheduled to be on display to the public at a studio in West Palm Beach Spring 2016. About Tony Arruza
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