Omnivorous and indefatigable, suggestible but independent, adolescents don't want to be balanced. They love extremes of everything from fashion and art to music and the Internet. Observed and studied by experts of all kinds, their behavior monitored by psychologists, educators, and marketing executives, adolescents represent a decisive and increasingly valuable segment of the buying public. They adore and consume trendy clothes and brand-new bands; they must be cool regardless of the cost. And adults turn to them more and more for clues on how to remain forever young and hip.
The Fourth Sex turns a critical, illustrated spotlight on adolescence, a territory of transition crisscrossed by the most varied creative energies. A series of iconographic materials begins in the 1960s and moves up to the present, revealing clothes, behavior patterns, novels, and visual artworks created or inspired by the transnational tribe that are teenagers. Excerpted authors include David Foster Wallace, Arata Isozaki, Philip Roth, William Golding, J.G. Ballard, Beavis & Butthead, Jim Carroll, Stephen King, Vladimir Nabokov, Douglas Coupland, Dick Hebdige, Bret Easton Ellis, and Dave Eggers. Represented artists include Vanessa Beecroft, Raymond Pettibon, Mike Kelley, Elizabeth Peyton, Karen Kilimnik, Charles Ray, Takashi Murakami, Larry Clark, Rineke Dijkstra, Paul McCarthy, Richard Prince, Gilbert & George, Gavin Turk, and Richard Billingham. And modeled fashion and lifestyle designers include Malcolm MacLaren, Paco Rabanne, Benetton, Veronique Branquinho, Comme des Garçons, Stüssy, Coca-Cola, PlayStation, Diesel, Katherine Hamnett, and David Sims. The book's shifting, politically incorrect graphic style gives form and color to all the contradictions and ambiguities of an unhappy age that we never cease to remember with nostalgia and the occasional twinge of pain. Published in association with Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery. The young always have the same problem--how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another. --Quentin Crisp
The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant, and let the air out of the tires. --Dorothy ParkerToo many of today's children have straight teeth and crooked morals. --Unknown high school principal
Adolescence is just one big walking pimple. --Carol Burnett