How do you feel when you see teenagers kissing, fiddling with each other and their phones simultaneously while sitting across from you on the subway, holding up sidewalk traffic ahead of you, splaying limbs all over the outdoor seating at the coffee shop? Repulsed, nostalgic, jealous, worried?
Now you don’t even need to locate real teenagers to observe underage relations, thanks to pro skater and artist Ed Templeton, who captures these tender moments in his series of photos, Teenage Kissers, which runs through July 25 at Half Gallery. Templeton picked four of his favorite shots and gave us a bit of backstory on these tongue-twisted teens.
"Satva and Kerry with Girls, Laconia, NH 1997" "This was in New Hampshire where a Sturgis-style bike rally was also going on at the same time as our skate demo, so the place was overrun with people. These two guys were part of Toy Machine, and they had just met these two girls."
"Young Kissers, Encinitas, CA 1996" "This was at a skate spot in ’96 in Encinitas. This kid was very young and hanging out with this girl who seemed to be at least a few years older than him. I asked if she was his girlfriend and told him to kiss her and felt kind of creepy about it. I like that he has some sort of euphoric look on his face."
"Brian and Nancy, 1995" "Everyone thinks that this is staged but it was totally organic. Nancy just happened to be holding a hammer. I think that this might have been the inception of my Teenage Kissers series. It was one of the earliest ones."
"Birmingham, UK, 2007" "This was in Birmingham, U.K., where a lot of skateboarders and kids who just had skateboards but weren’t really skaters would hang out. I had started to take this sheepishly, but then realized they didn’t even mind that I was photographing them."