Dedicated surfers know the feeling of sitting in the lineup staring hopefully at the horizon, scanning the distant oceanic bumps for a potential set. When the lulls are long, it’s easy to become mesmerized by as the sea and sky blend into one—an ever-changing gradient that never shows the same color, mood, or texture twice. It’s this fixation that artist, photographer, and longtime professional surfer Daniel Fuller turns his attention to with upcoming book Liquid Horizon: Meditations on the Surf and Sea, available 16 February from Rizzoli (preorders open now).
The Hawaii-born artist’s work isn’t your average high resolution, postcard perfect images of placid seas—or barreling cover shots. Fuller takes a more abstract approach, working within the confines of the horizon itself.
He explores the creative possibilities that lie within changing natural light, pushing the limits of what’s possible with long exposures and the unpredictable moods of the ocean from Sumatra and Hawaii to Tahiti. The result is a 208-page hardcover immersion in color, light, and texture that serves as an antidote for an era of incessant doomscrollling through the artificially perfect photos on handheld screens.
Unlike most surf books, the sole image of a charging surfer is found on page five (as seen below). From there, the reader follows an ebb and flow of abstracted seascapes, an enticing color story of both brilliant and muted hues.
Using the golden and blue hours to supreme effect with extended exposures and varied depths of field focused predominantly on shorelines and horizons—though occasionally more intimate subjects like tide pools and stretches of sand, too—the images at times take on a painterly quality with deep, emotive color fields achieving a Rothko-like effect. If a coffee table book can be a page turner, this is it.
Over the course of his storied career, Fuller has earned the hard-won blessing of both the surf and art world, and for good reason. New York-based painter (and noted surfer) Julian Schnabel penned an introduction for the book while Gerry Lopez (aka Mr. Pipeline) provided an afterword.
Pick up the book now via Rizzoli for $55, then head to your nearest beach and stare at the horizon—just be sure to keep an eye out for a looming set wave.