By M.S. Feather 20 Comments
By Taschen, 2008.
The Fueler of Fetishes, the Baron of Biomechanisms, these are just a few sensationalist titles that could accurately describe H.R. Giger and his enormous body of work. He’s worked in every medium from comics to body art, odds are if you can name it, he’s done it.
He’s such a huge talent that most of you here will be familiar with his work even if you may not be aware of it. He’s been a featured artist in Heavy Metal Magazine, designer on the classic Ridley Scott film Alien and the sculptor of KoRn frontman Jonathan Davis’ microphone.
"They are the sincerest fans of my work because they collect for pleasure, not for profit. As living bearers of my work, almost like exhibits in an open-air museum, they are not locked away in safes as so often happens with valuable art. Not yet, at least." -Giger on Tattoos
While I personally prefer Giger’s Biomechanics collection I thought ‘Com’ would be a better starting point due to its content. This book features a diverse compilation of his work spanning almost his entire career in all his chosen mediums. Even better, it features translated commentary made by the man himself. Having Giger narrate us through this anthology is such a treat, a novelty that almost makes it worth the price of admission alone. Starting this book with stories from his childhood, he takes your hand and gently guides you through the gallery of his life. An illustrated autobiography beginning with rare childhood photos that slowly give way to some of his earliest sketches.
Eventually we break into the airbrush photos he’s most famous for. Those twisted and meticulously created metallic dreamscapes that remain unparalleled in the art community today. It’s always a pleasure to see these pieces in large glossy print as taking in the staggering amount of detail in these prints can often take a while. Another point of interest in this volume is the focus on Giger’s other passion, interior design. He gushes almost excitedly about the work he’s done redesigning his home and truly making it a world of his own design. He also mentions in passing his desire to build a small train that would travel around his garden and through his home (something he did indeed later make a reality after the printing of this book).
In closing, he’s an incredible man with a truly unique style and as far as I’m concerned the greatest surreal artist this century has had to offer. Who else but Giger could make nightmares so much fun to explore?