Ed Templeton (b. 1972, Garden Grove, CA; based in Huntington Beach, CA) is known for his interdisciplinary practice, most notably of photographs documenting people and street life of Huntington Beach, California, intimate portraits of his wife, and paintings depicting the psychological complexity of American suburbia. He first gained recognition as a teenage skateboard prodigy in the late 1980s and learned to photograph using disposable cameras while actively touring for competitions. He later expanded to incorporate his artwork and graphics for his skate company Toy Machine.
Templeton uses photography, archival materials, painting, and drawing to explore the ugliness, banality, and beauty of the familiar everyday world, oftentimes attaching a deep, subjective emotional expression to his portraits. As the artist explains, all of his subjects come from his own life: “Everything I’ve ever shot has just been on the path that I’ve been on, be it skating or travel or street photography.” The environmental scenes created by Templeton are as much within the genre of portraiture as they are landscapes, neatly framing and supporting our perceptions of the bodily movements, ambiguities, and our relations with the characters embodied within.
Templeton has exhibited worldwide, and his work is included in the permanent collections of Museum Dhondt-Dhaenes; Deurle, BE; Museum Het Domein, Netherlands; Orange County Museum of Art, Santa An, CA; and the Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK. he has exhibited widely, included at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City, Mexico; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; International Center of Photography, New York, NY; ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland; Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA, among others. Templeton received the “Best Book of the Year” for his book “Deformer” at the International Festival of Photography in Rome, Italy in 2009. Templeton was also included in the traveling exhibition Beautiful Losers, curated by Aaron Rose and Christian Strike, which featured an accompanying catalogue and documentary.
In addition to his studio practice, Templeton has published over thirty titles to date, including one of his most infamous books, “Teenage Smokers,” and he continues to self-publish and distribute zines and artist books. Templeton is also a co-editor of ANP Quarterly, an arts magazine started in 2005.