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Deanna Templeton: Scratch Her Name on Your Arm

"Top Three Camera’s: 1st and foremost is my Leica M6, then my Mamiya 6 and now my Polaroid Minute Maker..."

This art power couple Ed and Deanna Templeton met when he was 15 and she was 18, “He looked older and I looked younger so we met somewhere in the middle.” They were married when Deanna was in her early twenties and have been married for over 22 years. They met at a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert and from then on have been pretty much inseparable. They seem to both inspire each other. When I asked her who her biggest inspirations in photography were, she replied, “There are lots but my biggest one would have to be Ed.” Deanna has been Ed’s muse in his photos as well as his paintings and even had a book of nude photos of her published.

She explained to me how her love for photography really began at the age of 15 when her mom bought her first camera. It came about due to unusual circumstances. A friend of hers who had a tough family life was going to run away one night, and Deanna didn’t want anything to happen to her so she decided she would go along with her. They ended up walking around most of the night and ended up hanging out with some teenage guys for a bit. She recalls the night with gratitude that nothing bad happened. By morning Deanna was tired and wanted to go home. When she got home she realized how worried her parents were. Her dad had driven around all night looking for her. Her mother gave her a camera over the whole incident, “Almost as a way of sweeping things under the rug perhaps, but also perhaps as a way of showing they cared and didn’t want her to doing anything like that again.”

Deanna is known most notably for her photography. Her work shows a continual evolving of ideas and the influences that surround her. Her works early influences were shaped by her involvement in the punk scene as well as going on tours with her husband and other professional skateboarders. The unique quality of her photos of skateboarding and skateboard culture are drawn from a female perspective of an almost all male documented and dominated sport. Her collection of photos have been published into a series of books including, 17 Days, Your Logo Goes Here, and a series called Blue Kitten 1, 2, and 3 which are more of a magazine style.

This spring she toured Europe with her photo exhibition ‘Scratch My Name on Your Arm,’ the title which is based on a Smiths song. These photos were published in a book Your Logo Goes Here in which she documents young girls and boys giving over their bodies to have them signed by their skateboard idols. In many ways she was first struck by this phenomenon when she went on tour quite some time ago and saw one pro go behind a building with two girls to sign the girl’s bra. She said she watched the signing and then them kissing. The girl was definitely underage and the skateboarder was over the age of 18. She said it took her a moment to process what was going on and then she knew it felt wrong just watching it. This fueled Deanna to contemplate and focus on the ease to which young girls allow and wield their body to their hero’s.

Her main show in Europe this spring was a solo exhibit she did at the NRW-Forum in D¸sseldorf, Germany. “The whole experience was amazing. We got into D¸sseldorf and there were huge photos of mine all over the city.” The owner of the gallery made it one of the most amazing experiences. She recalls, “If I never did another show again I would die happy.” Other notable exhibitions have included, ‘Only Once,’ N44 in Paris, ‘Only Once,’ Museum Het Domein in Holland, ‘Skate Culture,’ The Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, ‘The Swimming Pool,’ New Image Art Gallery, “Untitled,” Primo Marella Gallery in Milan.

She discussed her more recent new series based on nude photos shot underwater in her swimming pool. The idea came from a photo she shot of Ed while he was swimming nude one day in their pool. It seems from what I have seen and read that Ed enjoys being in the nude. She described that the way the light reflected and looked with him underwater piqued her interest. Since then she has gotten others to come and swim while she takes photos. For her, this photo series has been the most interesting because of the way that each person expresses themselves differently while swimming.

To see more you can visit Deanna’s blog here.