Cast Aside is perhaps the most alarming print from Hockney’s A Rake’s Progress series. Showing the artist being thrust into the jaws of a menacing serpent it marks the culmination of the foreboding and melancholy felt throughout the earlier prints. Taking from the artist’s own experiences of his first visit to New York, as well as secondary sources, the portfolio is loosely based on William Hogarth’s series of the same name, which dates to 1735. Here the rake is Hockney himself, and we follow him from his initial arrival through various scenes where a sense of isolation and exclusion builds through spare compositions that are all the more powerful for their extensive use of white space. Here a disembodied hand appears to be tossing Hockney, who is armless and legless, towards the snake, while the artist, shown characteristically in profile, maintains a blank expression. While the hand and figure are almost void of detail the snake’s skin is patterned with embellished ‘S’s, its teeth shark like in their expectancy. Here the ominous red cloud of the earlier prints is carried through, but where once it could have been read as a cloud or a haze of sun, in this scene it takes on the appearance of a bloodstain at the left hand of the scene.