Paints, fiberglass and flocks , furniture, clothing, manikin, lucite.

“The Birthday” is an attempt to illustrate the precise moment when life begins. The woman lies in fear and pain, constricted by the old wives' tales that she has heard all of her life. What should be a joyful fulfillment gives way to agonized despair.The plastic bubble is a scream, the arrows spasmodic suffering. There is a card from her husband explaining his absence. She is absolutely alone. Yet from this ravaged torment comes rejuvenation for her and all mankind. With this piece, Kienholz had completed a transition in style from experimental assemblage to one of defining and working out a total preconceived idea in large sculptural terms. Things were no longer found and hoarded against some vague future use, but now, with “The Birthday” and all subsequent works, items were obtained and used to complete a total concept.