In other instances, a gentle pathos abounds: A portrait taken in 2015 depicts an older punk with a “balding hawk” that starts “in the middle of his head.” Another image catches a high-mohawked man sprawled on the sands of Huntington Beach, reading.
Other photographs capture the labor-intensive upkeep that a mohawk can require, with friends helping each other gel and sculpt tall liberty spikes—the hair carefully twisted into a row of knife-like points. Templeton acknowledges that there’s an unexpected fussiness involved in maintaining such a dramatic hairstyle. “For me, punk was an attitude where you just didn’t care,” he says. “Spending an hour fixing your hair—for my sensibilities, that’s not punk.”
I asked Templeton if he’s encountered many avid skateboarders who also rock mohawks. He can’t think of any; indeed, the sport would seem to beg for a more aerodynamic haircut. But the artist is already conjuring the possibilities. “I was imagining a guy skating down a bike path,” he muses, “using his hawk as a sail….”