My paintings begin with the figure: I think of my characters taking position like actors preparing for their first scene, the curtain about to lift on a stage. I paint these people in paved landscapes or improbable architectural spaces, so that they catch (or meet) the viewer’s gaze through a mirror or wall of windows. I find myself conjuring familiar apparitions from art history, modernizing the ghosts of Goya, Manet, or Munch. My compositions and their narrative tones can range from funny to sad, perverse to grave. In one painting, a pregnant yogi lies on her side in front of an idling hearse; in another, a dog pile of long-faced brothers and sisters pose with uncertainty. My paintings aren’t political per se, but I notice how they become wrapped up in allegory or in a kind of existential worry. I tend to paint in swaths of bold, primary color that are built up around layers of charcoal underdrawing. I work organically so that the pictures and their meanings both develop and reveal themselves over time.