Abstraction is a language to tell a story obliquely and metaphorically, to offer a narrative hiding in plain sight. I’m interested in translating my experiences growing up Jewish at an assimilationist moment and making sense of the ways Jews are identified through visual references to historical systems. In my paintings, I imagine situations that are both old and new where I can create beauty and humor to live with my unease. The abstract vocabulary I explore is extracted from graphic elements from material culture, like striped clothing signaling “deviant” social status within traditions of Western image-making and serving as code for outcasts like Jews, heretics, and lepers. Incongruities—between geometry and the naturalism of trompe l’oeil and between fictional gravity and factual flatness—refer to the complexity of internalized sensations and generational repercussions. Part of the legacy I’ve inherited and that I embody is the need to conceal or camouflage, to avoid unwelcome attention generated by millennia-old suspicions and anti-Semitism. Building my vocabulary from stripes, Nazi diagramming of genetic, facial, and body features, and Jewish rituals and objects, I use abstract interrelationships to suggest situations that are not easily categorized.