A few thoughts on the content for The Chase

I am often asked about the intended “meaning” or narrative that I attempt to communicate with my work, and I thought that I would offer a brief walk-through of the content (and intended meaning(s)) of one particularly fun piece.

The Chase, 10x8", Oil on Panel

The Chase” was intended to communicate how we vehemently pursue that which we are truly passionate about in a world filled with obstacles, adversity, and distraction.

What many are quick to realize is that this piece is strewn with a salvo of references to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Clues range from the rabbit to the Queen of Hearts ominously emerging from the book in the background, to the more subtle references like the scrabble pieces in the extreme foreground donning the ‘L’ and ‘C.’

Overall this piece contains a fair amount of symbolism that can be uncovered with some careful investigation from the observer. For example, the overall path that we follow in our effort to catch that rabbit (indicated by the curved lines on the chalkboard) is wrought with variables that may greatly influence our efforts. Chess pieces and dice (elements that I often juxtapose) is meant to hint at a balance of strategy and chance along our journey----a recurring concept in several of my works involving themes of ‘fate’ and ‘destiny.’ Other playful distractions (marbles, golf tees, jacks, etc…) also flirt with the boundaries of the path but then tend to drift off course, reflecting how easy it is for us to get distracted by immediate rewards in contrast to the delayed, (but often richer), gratification often inherent to our larger goals.

Occasionally, along our path, warnings and harbingers do arise. This was represented by the Monopoly card which seems to reveal Uncle Rich Pennybaggs being pulled off of the path into the darkness by an ominous hand–an unambiguous message quite common to the Vanitas genre–that we may easily lose ourselves in the pursuit of worldly things.

My thoughts during this creation of this piece revolved around the concept that a vast multitude of factors are at work in our own unique chase for our own, seemingly-ever-elusive white rabbit—wisdom, folly, bravery, caution, science, religion, etc… but are these truly exogenous factors—OR do they aggregate into something exogenous that defines the white rabbit for us all.

As with most of my work walk-thorough, much is left unsettled and unrevealed here. I do hope that you enjoy the opportunity to continue the investigation. I’d love to know what you can uncover. :wink:


well, another reference to douglas adams answer to the life, the universe and everything is clear enough. : )


It would seem that those that are familiar with my “personal symbolism” can always spot that one fairly quick. LOL!

1 Like

the jack could correspond linguistically to rabbit. 4x2 is 8 which is the total of the dice sides visible on the left. 1ct (tee) has relevance to diamond rings. the four bips on the jack echo the other instances of 4, again echoed by the bips in the background blue picture.

no idea what if any significance any of that has, but a few observations.

1 Like

Well the jack alone would take care of 4/2 4 ball arms and 2 spikes ones :slight_smile: or could be like the thing he spins in inception. Is this reality?!

1 Like