Spooky and brilliant! There are times when something makes me sit up and take notice. This makes me sit up and take notice. It has a nice, "demented" quality to it that fits perfectly within the realm of dream logic. There is a wealth of darkness in this image, and I love the strange proportions and the looks of disinterest on the two central characters' faces. There's quite a lot to say about this (all of it good) and I find it deliciously overwhelming. This is brilliant work.
I'm trying so hard to interpret the artist's message, and I still have no idea if it's anywhere near correct.
So the handicapped tortoise represents the guy's broken-down and slow-paced life. Instead of looking forward to the future, he's distracted from his own life by a woman's, so he doesn't realize that satan is trying to take control of the direction his life will go. In other words, satan stole his rod and tortoise bait. The woman still has the means to control her own life, but she's "put her heart on the line" and offered it to the guy. By giving him control of her life, she lets him dictate her every move, which is why she looks like a dummy. The winged squirrel on his lap is his innocence and good will, which seems to be glowing and healthy, able to pull the bait away from the tortoise, never quite allowing satan to take over. The rabbit between her legs is her innocence and good will, which looks flustered and weak as it watches her give everything up. All the other fuzzy critters are all her friends' good will, looking up with concern and standing behind her. All the faces above are the uninvolved judgmental people, looking down at her in pity.
For every good thing, there's something bad, and vice versa. This "healthy competition" brings them both to the middle, and they somehow survive.
If you notice, her heart is being held on the same string that holds a carrot. And it's in the same direction in which the rabbit between her legs is looking. And from its facial expression it *really* wants that carrot. The rabbit isn't so much a symbol of her innocence - as it is a symbol of sexuality. And it wants the same thing that holds her heart... which could be the guy, idk. Having a hard time deciphering anything else, tbh lol
Also, rabbits, in general, are used as representations of sexuality, due to the speed at which they procreate - hence the phrase 'fuck like bunnies'.
Also, interesting to note is that this is essentially a "tortoise and the hare" story. We have the two stood on what looks to be a road, with a divider between them and cones at their sides - simulating a track. Absolutely no one in the picture is looking the way they would be running, in a race. The tortoise is looking at the fish being held by that devil thing, the hare's looking at the carrot/heart. The man is looking at the woman. The woman is looking sort of off in the distance, doesn't look like she's really paying attention to anything though. The woodland creatures are looking at her, and so on. Also, the tortoise has wheels... which makes me think the tortoise is supposed to be a reference to a car, but idk.
So basically, the two are in a race. A healthy competition. But neither one are paying attention to where they're going. The woman's being led by her sexual urges. The man's trying to hold her heart, but is being led by... hell if I know.
Aaand one last thing I noticed - the woman is made up of different parts. Her arms look like they're attached like a doll's would be. Her right arm has the same tattoo on it as the right arm of the woman in the back. Her left arm has a similar tattoo to the one on the demon thing's left arm. Her left hand is the one holding the carrot up to entice the rabbit; while the demon is the one holding the fish (which actually kind a looks like a carrot too) in front of the tortoise. The demon thing could be a representation of desire for both of them... but I'm not entirely sure about that. Still, it's interesting.
The woman and satan both are holding the rod with carrots as bait. The tortoise is lured by the carrot. The woman is suspicious. Her sexuality (the bunny) wants it. Her heart is out, which is what the man desires. His innocence is pleased but in a sort of competition (on the road/their journey) they all have successfully distracted each other.