Twenty-one is a highly anticipated birthday. Turning twenty-one, for most, means the end of underage drinking. Voting, entering into contracts, serving in the military, and being charged as an adult in court all begin at age eighteen (except in Mississippi and the District of Columbia). It seems that the only adult exclusion remaining is drinking alcohol. The book Twenty-One depicts the essence of this significant birthday. These candid color photographs of a backyard twenty-first birthday party in the summer document the casual, carefree, playful, and energetic spirit of twenty somethings. The book opens with images of a beer keg and grilling hot dogs, moves to dunking for apples, more beer, a slip and slide water game, beer, taking photos, beer, a keg stand, birthday cake, more beer, beer pong and beer. This book describes the culture of middle-class kids on the cusp of adulthood celebrating the ritual of turning twenty-one.
Artist’s book, 8 x 10 inches, laminated cover, 24 full color pages.
Gail Rebhan is a Professor of Photography at Northern Virginia Community College. Her work is in many public collections including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, J. Paul Getty Museum and Polaroid Corporation. She produced an offset artist’s book, Mother - Son Talk, at Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY. She has also created two ink jet artist’s books: Dorothy in 2002 and Benjamin Franklin Primer Updated in 2001 Her work is included in several other books including the anthology Reframings: New American Feminist Photographies, Pregnant Pictures, and Our Grandmothers: Photographs by 75 Women Photographers. Exhibitions include: Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany; School 33 Art Center, Baltimore, Maryland. Rebhan has an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. Rebhan’s work has been discussed in many publications including: The Washington Post, Afterimage,and n. paradoxa: International Feminist Art Journal.