William Mark Sommer
In 1999, Ed Templeton released his first book, Teenage Smokers. The book was a simple design of 30 photographs and 3 illustrations with a small forward by Aurelie Voltz, and an Interview by Jerome Sans. The book was just made for a corresponding photo show at Alleged Gallery, but the show and book took off like a wildfire giving Ed worldwide attention even awarding him $50,000 from the Italian Search For Art competition. From Teenage Smokers he also conceived a direct sequel to the book Teenage Smokers 2, released 2015 by Super Labo, and a sister project Teenage Kissers in 2011 that was produced by Seems. Teenage Smokers has gone on to becoming a classic photo book that has been referenced by many artist and even talked about in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger's "The Photobook: A History Volume III" being called a, “brand new, most handsome example of this contemporary classic.”
Ed Templeton is an artist photographer residing and from Huntington Beach California. Ed’s creation started when he first picked up skateboarding and got into punk music. Pursuing a professional career in skateboarding, he was surrounded by other creative’s shooting photography, making videos and creating board graphics. Within that time he picked up a camera and started documenting the things he saw, the places he would go, and every intimate detail of his life. Though Ed has no formal training in art being surrounded by the likes of Jason Lee, Mark Gonzalez and many other artistic skateboarders, he gained an education most of us could only dream of. Ed started exhibiting his work in 1993, and eventually gained a world following even more than his skateboarding career.
Ed as a creative in book arts has been challenging the way photography is shown in the book form. Ed has a created over 44 books and zines ranging from simple zerox folio, accordion books, to classic perfect bound books that showcase his works in these diverse monographs. More than just the structure of the book, Ed brings a different life to his work by utilizing many different layouts from photos in a collage form, sometimes applying pull out pages, to full layouts of exhibitions with drawings and his hand written type giving a new narrative to the work than the simplicity of single photos. These different methods of structures and layouts help to give his work an even more personal touch and diverge his photographs from the traditional way of showing photos in the book form.
Though Ed Templeton was not the first to many of the methods used in his photo books he has really innovated the whole field of with his ways of stepping beyond the traditional photo book. Traditional photo books have stayed fairly formulaic to the white page on the left photo on the right, until Ed Rusche created his Twentysix Gasoline Stations, this book helped usher a Renaissance to book making all together, but also gave artist like Ed Templeton a new way to experiment with the form. Being close to the punk rock zine creators of the 80s- 90s Ed and many of his contemporary’s have used the ideals of Rusche to make photo books more affordable mass produced art work. This way of creating books has made it more available for people like myself to own a work of art like theirs.
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