Cities of You

City #53: Nezzanbetti (Bernadette P)

24 x 18", Gouache and Pen on Paper

The citizens of Nezzanbetti have an unusual relationship with birds. The city’s human inhabitants model their homes after their feathered friends, who, in exchange, build their nests in the shape of their hominid counterparts. The people have also adopted fowl-like behavior, often moving in complex patterns as a synchronous group, sometimes drawn to congregating on thin wires at hazardous heights. The birds are unnaturally independent, occasionally moving in monogamous pairs or exclusive posses. Some birds are hunters, some are gatherers, some are builders, leaders, or performers. The human residents do not speak, but sing and dance to communicate. They wear elaborate, colorful wardrobes to court their mates. They cannot fly, but they walk with a certain weightlessness. And the birds do fly, but always in straight lines, as if following invisible roads and imaginary signs.