The images in Ed Templeton: 87 Drawings cover a span of over thirty years, from 1990 to 2021, and deliver a remarkable retrospective of the artist’s intimate drawing style. Templeton examines the studied ennui of adolescents and young adults, capturing his subjects’ specific personalities while documenting the visual identity born of the distinctive skating and surfing culture that originated in Southern California. He knows this culture well, growing up there before becoming a professional (and World Champion) skateboarder, contemporary artist, and photographer. His subjects are often drawn as portraits, their faces shown with a striking detail that contrasts with the simple lines of their bodies. Though they project a cool indifference, they are celebrated by the artist, whose fondness for them both recognizes and commends their subversive style. As Kim Hastreiter notes in the preface, his “secret ingredient is empathy.”
The collection also includes more personal drawings. There are eight of his wife and collaborator, Deanna; a self-portrait; and a drawing of them together. Fourteen of the drawings are on vintage hotel stationery, further anchoring the drawings in place, if not time. His grandfather collected much of the stationery; Templeton’s use of it adds a connective thread to both Southern California culture and his own life. Raised by his grandparents, Templeton credits his grandmother with exposing him to the art that would “enrich his life immensely,” and closes the book with a portrait of her at the end of her life.
A special edition of 20 copies, featuring a numbered and signed letterpress print by Ed Templeton measuring 9.5 x 12 inches, presented with a signed copy of the book in a custom clamshell box.