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The Cemetery of Reason

Skateboarding, sexuality and suburbs in artist Ed Templeton's expansive new book

by Graham Hiemstra in Design on 24 March 2011

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Owner and art director of Toy Machine Skateboards, Ed Templeton's work has been most widely-seen on boards under the feet of thousands of skateboarders around the world. For fans of his skateboard graphics or those already familiar with his art, the new book "The Cemetery of Reason"—a compliment to his 2010 solo exhibition of the same name—binds together images of over 260 pieces in a comprehensive survey of the native Southern Californian's work.

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Projects span painting and drawing to screen printing and photography, highlighting his free-form approach to combining mediums, something of a hybrid documentary-style that makes for a refreshing take on heady subjects like society, religion and the overall human condition.

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While Templeton often comments on today's over-sexed and under-supervised youth, the nomadic life of a pro skateboarder gives the artist unusual glimpses into innumerable global locations. Works in "The Cemetery of Reason" include photos of a bloodied friend after a bad slam or a seedy motel in Middle America, paintings of monstrous creatures speaking brainwashed thoughts and surreal mixed-media works of nude women.

While his work spans several mediums, the strength of his aesthetic is his first-person perspective, acting as an overarching link between subjects and artworks to convey his humanistic worldview.

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Rounded out with telling interviews with Templeton over the years, as well as multiple essays by influential artists, writers and the exhibition's curator, pick up "The Cemetery of Reason" online from Amazon.

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