The Artbook Review #2 - www HR Giger com


240 pages.
Edition: Hardcover.
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
 Alien III.

 
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
 A Feast for the Psychiatrist (1966).
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
 Birth Machine (1967).
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? 
20 Comments
20 Comments
Posted by J1ml33

H.R Giger  is a true surrealist as far as I am concerned , his work stands out as a testament  to if you let go of what you (either as the onlooker or reader or observer  ) to let go if what you think of as normal and decent and just let your mind wonder the halls of imagination to truly enjoy it for what it truly is ..
a marriage of metal and flesh ..something that should not exist does with our normal society.
His work is an inspiration to many (including me ) thank you M.S feather for a thoughtful review of a truly mind bending work of art ...

Posted by M.S. Feather
@J1ml33:  That's very poetic. : )
 
I agree completely though and thanks for reading!
Posted by IcePrince_X

I was able to go to a bar and a mini museum in Switzerland with his work adorning the walls and the tables. He is one of the artist that I only know by his art by not his name... but not anymore.
 
Thank you very much for the nice review. He is truly a visionary.

Posted by Caligula

Nice Stuff. I'd like to find a Warhol artbook.

Posted by M.S. Feather
@IcePrince_X:  That's wonderful!  Visiting the Giger Bar is on the top of my list of things to do before I die, so hopefully I'll be able to pay a visit in a few years as well. : )
 
@Caligula: There are a few but unfortunately I don't have one in my collection.  His work's just a tad too vibrant for my liking...

...I can respect that he's a man of excellent tastes however. ; )
Posted by Caligula
@M.S. Feather said:
" @IcePrince_X:  That's wonderful!  Visiting the Giger Bar is on the top of my list of things to do before I die, so hopefully I'll be able to pay a visit in a few years as well. : )
 
@Caligula: There are a few but unfortunately I don't have one in my collection.  His work's just a tad too vibrant for my liking...

...I can respect that he's a man of excellent tastes however. ; ) "
thanks i love Warhol's stuff i'll probably buy that book when i get me check this week.
Posted by Dude4

Great review, M.S. Feather.  You really got to hand it to Giger, he's got an original style that's all his own.  That's a real rarity today.
Posted by M.S. Feather
@Dude4:  Indeed!  Considering how unique all surrealist art tends to be it's really something to be able to stand out so vividly among such works.  He's truly one of the greats.
 
Thanks for reading! : )
Edited by IcePrince_X

I would like to share the photos I took when I visited the Giger museum in Switzerland. 
 

  
  
 
Posted by M.S. Feather
@IcePrince_X:  Thank you so much!
 
The Birth Machine is one of my favorite of Giger's works, so it's cool you decided to get a shot of that.  The ceiling looks amazing too...I bet all the sci-fi architecture makes you feel like you're having drinks in another dimension. ^^
Posted by IcePrince_X

Yes, it did... I just wish that my brother-in-law have brought me to that place earlier... the nice thing about this place is that it is also located on a castle and an old town... lots of things to see at once.

Posted by Omega Ray Jay

Really fantastic stuff, I'll have to try and pick that book up at some point.

Posted by DavidR
@IcePrince_X: 
 
I know these are photos but you actually posted boobies with nipples, hmmmmm, I thought u found that offensive on my Vampi.... ; )
 
 Art is art and this after all is still the Vine. Disclaimer!! Disclaimer!! My eyes! My eyes! I'm scarred for life, nipples are firmly implanted in brain, aaaaaahh I will never be the same again!!!! Sniff!!! 
 
Hmmmm, just got a hankering for some milk....Cookieeess!!! 
 
Wow that was an instant craving just from looking at naked boobies, now I now why it's harmful to post naked nipples, it can make you fat from the cravings. I see ur point now Icy!!!
 
     Hehehe,,,,,,
Posted by IcePrince_X

DavidR... i was not offended with nips of the vampirella contest just read through it during the competition thread. I am actually for tasteful and artful representation of the subject. but if its offensive I can take out the alien with boobies. :-)  
 
I will follow the rules 

Posted by DavidR
@IcePrince_X: 
 
Not at all offensive I was just messin' with ya!! I just got to reading stuff from the last month and I'm recovering from a couple of surgeries in the last 6 weeks. That's why I haven't been around.
Just found that email on nudity and saw that u mentioned my Vampi and wanted to poke at u. Not mad just playin' around.... Giger art is cool and glad u posted it. I'm an open minded individual and nudity done tastefully can be great.
Posted by IcePrince_X

@DavidR 
you messed me up real good :-P he he he 
 
hope you are well now... we have been missing your great art works on the thread. 
btw... Happy New Year!

Posted by DavidR
@IcePrince_X said:
" @DavidR you messed me up real good :-P he he he  hope you are well now... we have been missing your great art works on the thread. btw... Happy New Year! "
My point was never to mess u up.    ; P
 
It was to poke at you for the comment you made on the nudity email Shatterstar sent out to some of the artists on the Vine.  : P 
 
Thanks, Happy New year to you and while I'm at it the Viners too!!!
 
Yes I am regaining strength and energy as the weeks go by, started jogging today. As I get better I find myself having to catch up on many things. While I was out, my Mom took care of my 5 dogs and unfortunately didn't let them out often enough. I have 2 Rottweilers, fortunately no poop but carpets still needed to be steam cleaned. Anyways it's little stuff like that adds up and time consuming. As soon as I feel better I am going to finish some older art first and post it in a thread before starting on new works. Almost entered the Wonder Woman contest but ran out of time. Sketched out about 10 versions but not quite up to what I wanted to see from myself.  Drew her with small nips for machine guns and Madonna like tassels. My point? Nipples can be subjective, hehehe!
 
You will see me around soon I hope but enough about me. This is MS Feathers thread. I do appreciate the well wishes, thanks!  : )
Posted by Silkcuts

GREAT REVIEW!!!
I can't believe I missed this.  I love Giger's work.  
 
I was actually talking about the Birth Machine with a friend and it came to me how symbolic it is.  A gun sparks the bullet to create combustion,  which is fire, which is alive.  A Woman gives birth to something which is alive.  Both are painful/violent forms of creating life.  So symbolic, creepy, but beautiful.
 
I don't have a Giger book yet, so you recommend this one?
I was thinking on Biomechanics and/or Necronomicon, expensive, but oversized and insane inside.

Edited by M.S. Feather
@Silkcuts:  Oh, yes.  I'd definitely place it among one of his most beautiful works...probably one of the more tasteful as well. ; )
 
Like I said in the review, his Biomechanics collection is my favorite body of work from him personally but this would probably be a better starting point for a collector.  I kind of like to think of this book as a 'best of' collection as the work spans his entire career over all mediums, hand chosen by Giger himself.  It's also very inexpensive (ten bucks at Amazon).  Hard to beat that...
 
If you loved his Biomechanics series as much as I did though, that book is highly recommended as well.  After I get a few more of my books out of the way I'll be doing a review of that one too.
 
Thanks for reading!
Posted by Silkcuts
@M.S. Feather:  Thanks for the suggestion.  Since I don't own any book by him, I should start with a "best of".  ^_^
Cheers