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'Thread' by Patrick Trefz captures two years on the road



Literature News

Photographer, filmmaker Patrick Trefz releases book

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 25 March, 2009 : - - Photographer and filmmaker Patrick Trefz spent more than two years wandering country roads, always in search of the best way to the beach. Thread follows Trefz on his travels from the Basque Country to Steinbeck country, from New York City to West African island nations, scaling fences and hunkering down in the dirt to capture his vision of the visual language of surf culture.

The book is a study in juxtaposition, particularly between the man-made and the naturally occurring. Freighters in a harbor, arranged like pieces on a game board, are set against the light ruffle of wind on the water. Wheels and gears, line running through an installation like belts in a motor, the extremity of industrial production, are countered by a man and a wave, two products of natural energies.

Seen one way, everything is natural, and the question becomes one of degrees of manipulation. Still, the settings in these pictures suggest duality, differing realms—the road and the beach, the train track and the lineup—each element evoking its own associations. Patterned yet non-linear, Thread takes seemingly disparate subjects and gently ties them into a unified whole, finding commonality in devotion and practice.

Patrick Trefz is a longtime staff photographer for Surfer Magazine. He is also a filmmaker, who directed the 16mm film on which the book version of Thread is based. He was born in 1970 in Düsseldorf, Germany, and lives and works in Santa Cruz, California.

Charles Wehrenberg is a biochemist, writer and art collector who lives in San Francisco. He is the author of five books, including Mississippi Blue (Twin Palms, 2002).  Ari Marcopoulos began his career in New York City assisting Andy Warhol. In his quarter-century career as a photographer, he has become known for stunning landscapes and playful portraits of artists, musicians, extreme athletes, and other muses.

Christian Beamish is the former associate editor of The Surfer’s Journal, as well as a writer and builder of surfboards and boats.

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