One hears it everywhere—the oddly ominous declaration that the holidays are upon us. So much rides on the opening of the season. It is important business for us to be cheerful and generous. It seems that the entire world puts its faith in Americans feeling good about the holidays. The American consumer has replaced Baby Jesus as the icon of Christmas. Like a global manger scene, the media and economists watch over consumer sentiment (spending) as if it were a precious child.
Everyone tries to catch the fever as we dress in green and red, velvet and glitter. The entire country gets wound up in a frenzy of adrenaline and ornament. If only we could stop ourselves long enough to enjoy any part of it. Soon comes January and the blank stares. The opening declaration has a closing bookend; "I can't believe it's all over."
As an artist, it's hard to capture images of the holidays that don't succumb to cliché. The noise and tinsel and excess are glaringly assertive. With all the abundance, it is ironically difficult to find the sensitivity and peace that the season symbolizes.
It seems that expectations always get us in trouble. Today's image is of empty wine glasses at a holiday party. They sit in anticipation of being filled with cheer. There they sit, like a lineup of maidens at a dance. We too, await to be filled (and fulfilled) as this season of lights ramps up and washes over us like a wave. Soon the party is over and the glasses are scattered and dirty—some half-full, others half-empty, a few broken. It's rather how most of us feel come January 2nd.