Thursday, 9 June 2011

Asmodeus: development and symbolism

Photo, concept, manipulation, styling, frame design: GothicNarcissus
Model, hair, make up: Nick Chiron
Assistant: Ayl Rose
Additional resources: Darklaela-stock (wings)

Asmodeus is another Demon I came across through Kaori Yuki’s Angel Sanctuary. This time, though, her influence was quite limited, as Asmodeus’ figure is unusually well defined for the Jewish/Christian mythology standards, and I had plenty of sources which didn’t even contradict each other I could develop my character on, namely the Bible, the Talmud and many grimoires. Most of the sources agree about him being the Demon of Lust, most notably the Malleus Maleficarum (to which Sebastian Michaelis agreed) and Peter Binsfeld’s classification of the Upper Demons based on the Seven Deadly Sins. To my pleasure, I found more information about what he does in Hell and his relationships: he is depicted in the Malleus as the director of the Infernal Gambling House, some sources cite him as being an alcohol lover and having had a relationship with Lilith, and the Bible describes his fling with the mortal woman called Sarah; other sources said he was the Chief of Cherubim before the fall. Gosh, finally a fully round character!
Asmodeus from the Dictionnaire Infernal.
I had more than enough material to base my Demon on, but I decided to stick more closely to the Deadly Sin part, representing him most prominently as the Demon of Lust. Now I only had to come up with an aesthetic idea, as neither his “official” appearance nor Kaori Yuki’s depiction fit my ideal. It’s quite useless to say that the portrait found in the Dictionnaire Infernal was anything but fitting, so I had to do it by myself.
The first thing I had clear was that he had to be clothed, as a naked Demon of Lust would be rather banal. So, I decided for clothes that were elegant but messy enough to leave him strategically half-naked: a white shirt with a vest, black trousets and a loose tie (which I find sexy).
Asmodeus from Kaori Yuki’s Angel Sanctuary
Asmodeus from Kaori Yuki’s Angel Sanctuary.
When looking for a model, I scrapped Kaori’s rendition all along, as her Asmodeus’ features were too sharp for my liking. Thanks to Ayl Rose, I found out about Nick Chiron, whose features immediately caught my attention, as he is somewhat cherubic but incredibly sexy. I decided that it had to be him, but was somewhat reluctant to approach him, as it would be the first time I asked someone I didn’t know before to pose. I eventually got in touch with thanks to my dear Ayl, who basically started the thing on her own out of frustration for my procrastination. Despite my worries, the photoshoot went smooth and I got Asmodeus at the third photo overall. I even eventually found out that Nick is quite a sex, alcohol and poker lover himself, so he was most definitely the best choice for the role.
The main symbolism in this photo lies in Nick’s outfit and pose; the latter is allusive but not vulgar, as I wanted to keep it classy. I decided not to include symbols related to alcohol consumption and gambling, as they would look excessive. The theme-colour is Persian rose to recall lust. It was not easy to find a fitting (and possibly not banal) song for the Demon of Lust, but eventually the amazing King by The Romanovs proved a fitting choice.

No comments:

Post a Comment