Artist profile of Stephen Milner for Quiksilver’s “Icons Are For Everyone” campaign.
Campaign: Icons Are For Everyone
Director: Mortis Studio
Director of Photography: Jackson Sjogren
Date of Broadcast/Publication: 2021
Business Sector: Apparel
“Icons Are For Everyone” is a celebration of Pride and the leaders from the LGBTQ+ surfing community creating a more inclusive surfing culture. We believe that we make surf culture better when we make it together, so please join us in supporting these leaders in their work—this month, and every month.
Stephen Milner didn’t set out to be a “surf artist” in the traditional sense. The California-based sculptor, photographer, painter and printmaker (to name a handful of Stephen’s many skills) has long loved riding waves, but when it came to exploring his favorite pastime through art, it wasn’t idyllic, curling lip lines that he wanted to focus on so much as surf culture’s expression of masculinity.
Surf magazines and films have long sold us images of surfers as young, handsome, roguish men either chasing waves around the globe with their “bros” or posing with a board under one arm and a bikini-clad model under the other for surf brand advertisements. Stephen keenly observed that the second you subtract the objectified female figures, surfing’s visual culture becomes more than a little homoerotic. In his most recent book, “A Spiritual Good Time”, Stephen leaned into this phenomenon, plundering hundreds of old surf magazines looking to appropriate segments of surf lifestyle images, which he then juxtaposed with shots from gay magazine