Piece description from the artist
The malabranche in the background of this picture are recurring characters in my artwork. They are inspired by – but pretty different from – the malabranche in Dante's Inferno. However, my malabranche are not evil or cruel. Instead, they're innocent, androgynous, mischievous, and lacking in understanding of good and evil. (You can read more about the characters in my art in my profile.)
My drawings are typically a mix of dark and whimsical. I think they typically contain a vein of humor, albeit of a weird kind. My art tends to involve women, large and impractical dresses and hairdos, mythological creatures, religious imagery, and machinery. I really love the works of Hieronymus Bosch, James C. Christensen, Francisco Goya, and Maxfield Parrish.
Here are some recurrent figures in my artwork:
Ravenous Female Airships ~
These are airships with large female faces and large teeth, generally powered in part by egg beaters.
The Malabranche ~
The malabranche are characters who maintain order in Hell in Dante's Inferno. In his world, they are nasty/ evil and male. In my world, they are androgynous, and I would say tend to be more feminine, and they do guard Hell, but they are not evil – they only guard Hell because that is the purpose they were created for, not because they like inflicting pain or affiliate themselves with evil. They also are active in several worlds, including our own and the world of the Geometric City, not just in Hell. They are not really good or evil – they are innocent and therefore neither good nor bad. They play pranks and tricks and cannot really be relied on to act as you would hope, so the Bird People tend to not respect them very much. They tend to take their inconsistency for simplicity or stupidity. But the malabranche have deep wells of love and loyalty within them, just like the bird people – they just don't express it in the same way. For example, the malabranche are highly loyal to the Duchess, in all her incarnations throughout time and worlds.
The Geometric City ~
The Geometric City is the capital of the most important region of its world. It is a financial, cultural, and intellectual hub. The Bird People are the caretakers of the city, and in particular its Palace. In the city live mostly people/ the Descendents of Lizards and Bird People, with frequent visits by others, such as malabranche, duocapos, ogres and ogresses, demons, fish-eyes, etc.
The Geometric Palace ~
This is a building of unsurpassed beauty. As you go deeper into the palace, it becomes more perfect and beautiful. There are no pictures of the center of the palace. At its heart lies a courtyard containing a rectangular pool with a thin layer of water over a smooth, shiny black stone (e.g. onyx or obsidian) base. The effect is that of infinite depth and perfect reflection when the water is still. Governance takes place here, and the Bird People are its caretakers.
Bird People ~
The bird people are inflexible, rigid, noble, altruistic, responsible, practical and empathetic. They are the guardians of the Geometric City and the Geometric Palace, and make excellent governors. They sometimes wish their fellow races were more responsible, so that perhaps they could relax or have some fun… they get stuck "footing the bill" in many ways, because they can always be counted on.
Descendants of Lizards ~
It is unclear if this is a distinct race from humans. They are very similar in that they are a mix of good and bad, base and noble, wise and foolish.
The Duchess ~
The Duchess is a sweet young woman or girl who is reincarnated often. She in some sense represents goodness and beauty, and therefore bad things happen to her often, as monsters and evil long to destroy her. Despite this, she never loses her innocence and goodness. The malabranche always recognize her in her many reincarnations. The malabranche love the Duchess (who is good, kind, and lovely) whenever she exists in the world. She is one of the few beings the malabranche really love.
People with two heads and one body. They refer to one-headed people as monocapos.