The corner of Via Lambro and Via Melzo in Milan was packed with urban art lovers and skateboarders that wanted to meet and greet legendary Ed Templeton on the night of 19th of September. The American skateboarder and artist was there to open his latest solo show A Gentle Collison at Jerome Zodo Contemporary. While some just wanted to meet the man, others wanted their Toy Machine boards and shirts signed or doodled on, but all of them were here in the first place to enjoy his latest body of work.
For this show Templeton prepared 7 artworks, 3 large sized installations, and a short video that were all displayed at the gallery. Also, he recently released a limited edition lamp with Case Studyo (introduced), and a limited edition print that were both available as well. The artworks were varying in sizes and medium. From small drawings on paper to a huge acrylic on wood panel piece Huntington Beach, they were all focused on Ed’s primary subject – street and suburban life. Incorporating portraits of real people, together with real stories as well as his interpretation of stories he heard or witnessed, it takes time to fully examine and comprehend his works. Addressing the problems of American youth, religious beliefs, subcultures and everything in between, these drawings are personal documents of reality around the artist.
And if drawings are personal documents, his photographs are actual documents of real America. Arranged in 3 massive installations – 30 Seconds in my Shoes, A Gentle Collision, and The Sleepers, they include images of the most obscure moments of every day life. Capturing things that the majority of people tend to look past, the artist slaps the viewer across the face with explicit images of people, especially youth, acting just the way the want to, and not the way that society would like to see them. Along with that, there are photographs from life on skateboard tours, his world travels, as well as his comments and views on different anecdotes and moments he experienced as a skateboarder, artist, and citizen of the world.
The entire opening, as well as Templeton’s trip to Europe, was captured on camera by Kevin Barnett, who is currently working on a movie about the artist’s life and career, titled Strange New Feelings.