Danziger Gallery is proud to announce our first exhibition of photographs by Ed Templeton and the artist’s first photography show in New York.
A California native, Templeton grew up and still lives in the suburbs of Orange County. His photographs tell the story of the worlds he knows – the pangs and passion of youth, the beauty and tackiness of Southern California, and the exhilaration and exhaustion of the skateboard world he starred in.
While Templeton originally gained fame as a skateboarder, turning professional in 1990 and founding his own skateboard company, he always felt a need for creative expression both athletically and artistically. Influenced by professional skateboarders who did their own graphics and art, Templeton began to create works in multiple mediums – painting, photography, and sculpture. He continued to tour the world as a skateboarder, but over time (and injury), his art became his primary focus.
Around 1994 Templeton had become associated with a group of west coast artists whose styles and distribution channels originated largely outside of the art world, and included an interest in pop culture iconography, a commitment to be true and unpretentious, and a strong do-it-yourself attitude.
Collectively titled “Beautiful Losers” the group included Shepard Fairey, Mark Gonzales, Margaret Kilgallen, Barry McGee, and Ryan McGinley among others and was documented in an influential film, book, and touring exhibition.
While Templeton’s photography is entirely self-taught, it would be a mistake to label him an outsider artist. He is well aware of what he is doing, the intricacies of his craft, and the moment to press the shutter. Think of a young Lartigue growing up in a working class family in SoCal as opposed to a rich cosmopolitan milieu. Templeton documents the people and places he encounters in a rich stream of images - of himself and his wife Deanna, of the everyday people who hang out at Huntington Beach, and the places he passes in his car. He collects images of themes that he feels drawn to – teen smokers and kissers; surfers and skaters; public displays of religion, politics and self-expression.
Templeton likes to present his photographs in a non-hierarchical manner, large quantities mixed up together in irregular clusters. He hangs works in the shape of what he calls “image clouds.” In Templeton’s way of seeing we recognize the fascination of the passer-by gripped at some unexpected moment by the “extraordinary of the ordinary”, the exceptional and existential moments of daily life. It’s the best and truest tradition of photography – always ready to surprise when a new voice or vision looks at the world afresh with the same old Leica.
Ed Templeton’s work is regularly exhibited at museums around the world. A mid-career survey of his work entitled The Cemetery of Reason traveled throughout Europe from 2010 to 2011. Publications of his work include ten monographs and his many self-published zines. His work has been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; S.M.A.K. Museum, Belgium; Bonnefanten Museum, Holland; and the Kunsthalle, Vienna.