Ed Templeton Teenage Kissers

ISBN 13: 9780982593677

Teenage Kissers

 
9780982593677: Teenage Kissers

...Today in the Flickr generation, photographs of young kids in wild and rebellious situations come a dime a dozen. The internet is chocked full of these images, usually shot and shared between small groups of friends and existing on a myriad of random Tumblr and Facebook pages. Never before in history have we lived in a society where the personal documentation of peoples private lives has been so public. However, when Ed Templeton began shooting these photos of young people kissing this was not the case at all. The worldwide web was only in its infancy and the word blog had not yet even been invented. Photography of this nature was restricted to few practitioners, and existed in a rarified world young fans and art aficionados. It should be noted that while in today s climate these images may feel standard, at the time they were being created Templeton was surely an innovator. His images spread through youth culture like wildfire, and in many ways one could blame the young photo-blog explosion partly on the fact that he took these photographs when he did. For that reason alone, Teenage Kissers should be viewed as a historical volume. As we look at these photographs of young people exchanging awkward kisses we are reminded again of that wonderful uncomfortability that comes with the discovery of young sexuality. Not only do we all remember the feeling of that first clumsy teenage kiss, as mature viewers we can now look at the photos from afar and understand exactly where it s all going. Like its predecessor, Teenage Kissers is a perfect documentation of this feeling. The photographs are, in many ways, beyond innocence. They brim with humanity in its most raw form and remind us that although some of us have now grown up, we re still never so far from that first kiss. The basics of our sexual lives are reflected back to us in these images...and no matter how many times we see it, it cannot be denied that there s a little Teenage Kisser in every one of us. - Aaron Rose

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About the Author:

About Ed Templeton The American painter, drawing artist and photographer Ed Templeton (b. 1972) tells the story of his life, a story that also makes comments on the society in which he lives. Templeton presents his images free from hierarchy, focusing on the world of punk and skateboarding, friends, family, himself and his wife... From intimately to far outside, he effortlessly couples autobiographical fragments with a universal imagery. The result is an exhibition which presents itself as a story , fed and corroborated by photographs, paintings and sketches that roam through the spaces, free from hierarchy. He has exhibited his artwork worldwide, including the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Museum Het Domein, Netherlands, and Kiasma Museum, Helsinki, as well as being part of the seminal Beautiful Losers exhibition and feature film. In 2008 a book of Templeton's photographs, Deformer, was published in Italy and recently won first prize at the International Festival of Photography in Rome. In April of 2010 he will be having a mid-career survey exhibition of his work at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Gent, Belgium. Templeton is represented in the United States by Roberts & Tilton Gallery, Culver City, California.

Review:

Around 1995, Ed Templeton began to take pictures of kids kissing, when somebody, probably Aaron Rose, suggested Ed put together a series of kids kissing in the same way, he had been taking portraits of kids smoking (the difference being that the kissing images were often taken from the perspective of bystander, or sometimes, casual voyeur as opposed to the semi-engineered portraits of the smokers.). Ed takes pictures of just about everything one could imagine, and since he makes a point of covering a lot of ground, and since also much of Templeton s time has been spent around the world of skateboarding, it only makes sense that he would eventually accumulate a formidable stash of photographs capturing lip-locked teens. Like most great ideas, it s a premise that s simple to the point of being almost moronic. What makes it work is that a kiss is like a tiny pebble dropped in the middle of the ocean, each one has the potential to launch a wave that can level a mountain. A kiss can be so intimate it pulverizes the heart and it could be argued that it s really much easier to slide one s genitals inside a stranger or let a stranger slide theirs -- than it is to sway oblivious on a busy street corner, making out with that very same stranger. And yet, it s true. Having sex with someone can mean so many things. It can be about love, sure. But it can also be about being lonely. Or angry. Or horny. Or sad. It can be about winning. It can be a last ditch effect at solace following a loss. Or it can even just be about being drunk or blitzed on pharmacueticals. Often times, it s a cocktail of all of them wrapped up in a sweaty, confused cloud of urgency. Kissing, on the other hand and to be more precise, the prolonged open-mouthed variation, pretty much always means the same thing I really like you. A fairly clear line which prompts the inevitable conclusion: to see two people kiss, especially with total conviction out in public, is to witness firsthand one of the most potent and infinite strains of hope known to mankind -- a pleasurable act of civil disobedience, reckless abandon triumphing over the inclination to conform, the refusal to deny the idea that one s heart that one s heart is both vital and, yet still, entirely worth risking. In short, kissing with unflinching conviction is the antidote to giving up and behaving like the rest of the quitters. After one has lost the will to kiss in public, one is surely doomed to a life of careful consideration, a purgatory of purchases designed to signify arrival in the horribly real world. From there on, all that is left are many-pieced sofas, fabric swatches and gym memberships, not long after that it might even be time to begin injecting small doses of lethal toxins into one s forehead to nullify evidence of physical expression. So little in life is certain, though most certainly one thing that is, is that new and improved ways of giving up are being developed around the clock all over the planet. Behaving properly and consuming are the easier, softer way. Much of this social and cultural conformity stems from the fact that when all is said and done, the inside of us remains a total mystery, and that not knowing what s bubbling underneath is truly terrifying and that, a kiss is a plunge into that delicious void of not knowing, when two tongues meet and mash, who knows what might happen next?.... - Arty Nelson --Arty Nelson

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Ed Templeton
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