Thursday, June 21, 2012
Photographer: Ed Templeton
Posted by Imogen Brooks
Ed Templeton (not to be confused with the same named creative director of design and branding company Red Design) takes photographs that intrigue the voyeur in all of us. As a professional skateboarder in the 1990s, it was from there that the Californian photographer, sculptor and painter began to develop his ability to capture moments of human intimacy. By his own admission, Templeton was an outsider to the lifestyle that he found himself thrown into; whilst the majority of his fellow skaters enjoyed the sex, drugs and rock’n’roll lifestyle provided by their success, Ed remained more of an observer. Rather than participate, he would document.
Mainly shot in black and white, Templeton’s portraits record individuals in their natural environment, often involved in their activities without regard for the camera. His ability to readily capture the immediacy of the moment is something that distinguishes his work from the millions of other portrait photographers. And whilst the subject matters are at times distressing or even depressing, the intimacy with which Templeton shoots invites you to replace your identity as spectator with a member of the turbulent world that his work portrays.
Most of Templeton’s projects do not shy from controversy, such as Teenage Smokers, that exhibits a series image of, you guessed it, adolescent boys and girls smoking cigarettes as they stare defiantly down the lens. This, along with Teenage Kissers and other urban-themed projects, display this remarkable photographer’s brazenly raw and at times shocking images that nevertheless manage to retain a sense of the beauty of the human condition.