Friday, 17 June 2011

Adramelech: development and symbolism

Photo, concept, manipulation, frame design: GothicNarcissus
Model, hair, make up: Jimmy Richter
Styling: Jimmy Richter and GothicNarcissus
Additional resources: Amptone-stock (texture), ED-resources (peacock feathers)

Adramelech is one of the Demons I came across after the Infernal Lords series was already in the process, when I was specifically looking for new characters to include. He’s not a Goetic Demon, but is described and depicted in Collin de Plancy’s Dictionnaire Infernal. Historically, he’s derived from an Assyrian Sun god adored in the city of Sepharvaim who, as usual, was subsequently absorbed into the Hebrew and subsequently Christian tradition, and retained his solar origin in his later depiction as a humanoid monster with a large peacock tail on his back, clearly recalling sun beams.
Adramelech from the Dictionnaire Infernal.
His peculiar appearance was enough to draw my attention, but when I looked for further details, I found out that, differently from most of the Demons, instead of telling how many legions of spirits he rules and what he does when you conjure him in the magic circle, the sources gave a round portrait of the character, including his occupations in Hell and even some information about his personality. Most of the traits of my character are taken directly from the original, such as being a former Throne, the Great Chancellor of Hell, the supervisor of Lucifer’s wardrobe and a member of the Order of the Great Fly, as well as being ambitious, arrogant, guile, mischievous and a deep hypocrite. Well, such a figure could not fail to be in my collection, so I decided to keep it safe while looking for a fitting model. My own image of him was quite clear all along: the same as the “official” portrait, but with a beautiful man instead of the monster. I’d say I was probably inspired by one of the characters in Sugababes’ Shape videoclip. I had pretty much forgotten about it until I saw it again some months ago, but it possibly kept subconsciously influencing me, perhaps drawing my attention to the illustration of the Demon in the fist place.
The Peacock Boy from Subababe's Shape video
The Peacock Boy from Subababes’ Shape video.
Anyway, quite some time after elaborating the idea I got in touch with Jimmy Richter via Facebook (some two or three days after I joined it). As he showed interest in my Infernal Lords project, I proposed him to pose as Adramelech due to his white hair. This proved to be a particularly fortunate choice, not only because his character is quite similar to Adramelech’s and helped me define it more precisely, but in particular because Jimmy added his own ideas, such as the peacock make up, which was inspired by Winged-Creations’ work Peacock.
The reason why I felt that Jimmy’s white hair would fit my work was that I wanted to strenghten the solar aspect of the Demon, so I opted for an albino peacock rather than a traditional one, as its tail would resemble sun beams more closely. The white, transparent and thin shirt also emphasises this aspect, while the rich laces represent the most mundane aspects of the character. As Adramelech is not a Goetic Demon and lacks a Seal, I had to borrow it from another Demon. The choice was made keeping in mind that Adramelech would have a companion piece, Anamelech, the Demon of the Moon, who lacked a Seal as well. I resolved to take Decarabia’s because of the crescents in it, and edited it into being a mirrored image of the former with the astrological symbol of the Sun instead of that of the Moon for Adramelech. I guess there is no need to say why it’s luminous rather than the dark like the others.
The choice of the theme-song, Frozen by Theatre of Tragedy, and white as the theme-colour have a similar meaning: as light is commonly regarded as a symbol of good, I wanted to portray Adramelech as an “evil” sun, very bright but cold at the same time. The lyrics of the song speak about both light and cold, while white is the most luminous colour, but is so pure it lacks any warmth, in particular if associated with black.

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