The Other Side of Christmas Project Statement

I have been a naturalized American for almost three decades.  But my understanding of America is almost entirely limited to a life lived in New York City. In truth, that is no understanding at all. 

I self-identify as a New Yorker, but never as an American. 

The Other Side of Christmas is an  ongoing project about the American open road as a facilitator for observing and understanding the United States. It is about my continuing effort to better understand the country I have called home for my entire adult life.
 
As I traverse the country, it is clear that for many, perhaps even the majority, life is not the idealized, and often romanticized, American dream. 

While shooting in the South over the holidays, I was reminded of a news story about the country’s suicide rate being highest over the holidays. The Hallmark version of life is not the lived reality for most, hence, the title The Other Side of Christmas. In some pictures I represent a literal version of Christmas. More often it is metaphoric. 

An abandoned garbage-filled public swimming pool in Mississippi is the other side of Christmas.
 
The project is situated in the context of the rich tradition of the road trip in the contemporary history of photography. In the words of Robert Frank, “What I have in mind then, is observation and record of what one naturalized American finds to see in the United States.”