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Artist Ed Templeton on capturing the weirdness of Huntington Beach
Artist Ed Templeton on capturing the weirdness of Huntington Beach

Look at the paintings of Ed Templeton and you'll see all of the elements that compose the trope of Southern California as paradise: suburban houses with tidy lawns, blue skies, the ocean and, of course, women in bikinis. But Templeton isn't making placid pretty pictures. His broad view of the Huntington Beach Pier shows the steaming AES power plant in the distance as a Goodyear blimp advertises divorces overhead. On the pier, a religious zealot totes an oversized cross, while a young woman in cut-offs holds a baby in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other — a dystopic contemporary Pietà. Elsewhere in his works, you'll find...

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