Tuesday, May 13, 2014
I remember where I was and exactly what I was doing when I received news of the passing of one of my heroes. Anton LaVey, Johnny Cash, and a host of others. I could tell you what I was doing each of those times. And this morning was no different when I read the first news of the passing of probably the most important and influential figures in my life, HR Giger. I never actually met the man, though we did share a couple mutual friends, but like when Dr. LaVey and Cash moved on, I cannot help but feel like a small part of me died this morning when I read that. My first exposure to his work (and virtually everyone else’s as well) was seeing the film Alien. He conjured up that unforgettable demon from somewhere deep inside his mind and unleashed it upon us all, and for me it was love at first sight. It wasn’t until many years later when I picked up a copy of Heavy Metal magazine in Renegade Comics and saw the Morpheus ad for his signed prints and books. I got the shop’s owner Ed to order for me Giger’s Necronomicon, and paid for it over months using school lunch money and store credit earned by filling subscription boxes and back issues. The day I split open the shrink wrap, similar to opening a dusty, old grimoire of black magic my life was changed forever. The mad genius, unashamed perversity, and nightmarish artistry left such a deep burn in my mind that I haven’t created a thing since where I didn’t ask myself “If Giger were doing this, how would he approach it?” Like anyone who creates and has a central person who inspired them I have dabbled in the Biomechanical style he created, but never really attempted to seriously pursue it. Because everyone who has ever tried only ends looking like a Giger hack to me. Though I know he didn’t actually invent it, as far as I’m concerned HR Giger invented the art of painting with an airbrush. I have carried his influence on me as best I can and applied it to whatever I’m working on. While compiling ideas and sketches and reference for anything I’m working on, I pour through his work for additional inspiration. He left us all an eternal well of work to marvel at and be spellbound by. An artist I was friends with a few years ago who knew Giger did a series of three portraits of him. Giger kept his favorite of the series, and the other two ended up in the collections of my pal Chris X and myself. That along with the many books and signed prints of his amazing work are what I have to enjoy and I will make sure to take a few extra looks at them tonight. Rest In Peace, Hans Reudi Giger. You will forever be missed.