Featuring over two hundred images of twenty-somethings frolicking and enjoying their carefree lives, Ryan McGinley chronicles a generation of fun-loving, hedonistic young adults discovering who they are in the first major volume on this important and prolific artist. In 2002, two years after Ryan McGinley, then a student, staged his first exhibition of photographs in a SoHo gallery, he created inexpensive handmade books of a sampling of his work titled The Kids Are Alright. Those books eventually found their way to Sylvia Wolf, then curator of photography at the Whitney Museum ofAmerican Art in New York, who gave him a solo show a year later, making him the youngest artist to have a one-person exhibition at the museum. What critics, curators and collectors would quickly discover was an artist who understood and chronicled his own generation as no other had. Compared early on to masters of photography and film, such as Nan Goldin and Larry Clark, McGinley's early work documents the lives of his friends -the hedonistic exploits of youth culture but without the dark undertone of earlier artists who mined similar themes. As he evolved, he began to create scenarioswhere he could explore different ideas (aesthetic and otherwise) and this led to his infamous summerlong road trips, which he conducted for five years, capturing a myriad of twenty-somethings enjoying each other and their surroundings. In addition to these seminal works, McGinley is known for hischronicling of the singer Morrissey's sold-out tours around the world.
Chris Kraus is the author of four novels, most recently Summer of Hate (2012) and two books of art criticism. She writes frequently about visual and literary culture for Art in America, Artforum, May Revue, Los Angeles Review of Books, and other publications. The recipient of a Warhol Foundation Arts Writing grant, she has published essays and monographs on contemporary artists including Jorge Pardo, Moyra Davey, Elke Krystufek, Tiny Creatures, The Bernadette Corporation, among many others. With Richard Birkett and Marco Vera, she organized the Artists Space exhibition "Radical Localism-Media and Art from the Pueblo Nuevo Gallery Mexicali Rose" in 2012. She teaches writing at European Graduate School. John Kelsey is a writer, artist, and activist based in New York City. He is a member of the collective Bernadette Corporation and co-founder of the gallery Reena Spaulings Fine Art. His texts on contemporary art have appeared frequently in Artforum, where he is a contributing editor. He is the author of Rich Texts: Selected Writing for Art (Sternberg Press, 2010). Gus Van Sant is a filmmaker, writer, artist and musician. His films include Drugstore Cowboy, Gerry, and My Own Private Idaho. He was twice nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director--in 1998 for Good Will Hunting and in 2009 for Milk. His films Paranoid Park (2007) and Last Days (2005) were both nominated for the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or. In 2003 Elephant garnered that prestigious honor and Van Sant received the award for Best Director.