H.R. Giger passed away on Monday and the world has lost an artist with amazing vision and quality. He produced some of the most interesting art I have ever seen. He was most famous in popular culture for the design of the alien in the movie Alien, for which he won an Academy Award.
I never met the man personally, but I did buy a few of his books of collections over the years and even owned a few that weren’t so overtly sexual that I could put them out in the open. I found his work to be brilliant in both its distinctive style and originality. You couldn’t come across one of his pieces and mistake it for the work of another talented artist.
My first introduction to his work was at the Lit Lounge, which was (is) the bar in front of the Fuse Gallery on 2nd Avenue between 5th and 6th in Manhattan. Downstairs in the grimy and wonderful depths of the bar, all the way in the back, was a table with Giger’s engravings all over it. I think it was offered for around $12,000 at the time by the owners of the bar, but I can’t remember too well. I admired it often, but the piece was damaged through use, parts of the metal flattened, the table all scraped up and covered with (removable) bar muck. It was heavily used, but absolutely beautiful.
I didn’t have the money to buy it at the time or some such excuse, but I made a point to try and see it every time I went to the bar. It was there that I was corrected and told his name is pronounced “GEE-ger.” I came back years later to find it gone. I finally found a poor picture of it online, so here it is:
Here is a part of the image:
Bizarre, unusual, amazing.
I will miss his work and the chance to meet him, but I never doubt his legacy will last in its beauty, originality, and ability to evoke interest (and sometimes horror).
May he rest in peace.