Professional skateboarder, graffiti, graphic and video artist, painter, photographer and sculptor, Ed Templeton (b. 1972) is the most interesting artist to surprise Europe in recent years. Raised in a suburb of San Francisco, he is an open, social person, who has healthy critical views of America, is a committed vegetarian and a prophet of sport and meaningful pastimes, of creativity. It may come as a surprise to some that this extraordinary figure of contemporary art is well known in Hungary, a legend whose visit is eagerly expected by many. Then again, the key to his local popularity is not so much his art as his status of skateboarding pro, the graphics his enterprise, Toy Machine, prepares for skateboards, and his cooperation with “street style” clothing companies.
Ed Templeton’s art is difficult to categorize. His photos and aquarelles owe their success to their candid tone, the force with which they represent the disillusionment that characterizes youth the world over, and the textual commentaries he adds to his pictures. The way his exhibitions are installed goes against the currently established practice, making each display a unique artefact, the impressions of a novel vision. The uninterrupted wallpaper of photos, drawings and paintings that stretch from floor to ceiling make for a powerful experience. Whether they appear in his artworks and installations or on his skateboards and the clothes he designs, Ed Templeton’s visual idiom, drawings and texts are certain to engage even the youngest audiences.
With The Cemetery of Reason, the artist talks about his own life, his family and friends, the people he meets in the city and whilst travelling as a professional skateboarder. If the inspiration is autobiographical, the vast installation goes beyond the personal, and concerns important social and political issues.