In 2000, Ryan McGinley, then a student, staged his first exhibition of photographs in an abandoned SoHo gallery. To coincide with the show, the artist created several handmade books featuring a sampling of his work entitled The Kids Are Alright. A copy eventually found its way into the hands of Sylvia Wolf, then a curator of photography at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 2003, Wolf mounted an exhibition of his work at the venerable institution, the youngest artist to ever have a solo show at the museum. What Wolf recognized—and what other critics, curators, and collectors would quickly discover—was an artist who understood and chronicled his own generation (habituées of New York City’s downtown) as no artist had before him. McGinley had managed to capture the hedonistic adventures of youth culture—kids hanging out and enjoying life—but without the dark underbelly of earlier artists who mined similar themes. Ryan McGinley 's first major monograph of his photography, entitled Whistle for the Wind [Rizzoli], which is hardcover and includes a consideration by Gus Van Sant, will be officially released tomorrow June 26, but is available to preorder now.