Goodbye HR Giger

The news today that Hans Ruedi Giger died is bumming me out incredibly. It is no exaggeration that his creations have been a constant companion of mine. Pictured below is the 18″ Kenner Alien action figure that I used to sleep with when I was nine years old. No joke. I had this and an eighteen inch Six Million Dollar Man Bionic Bigfoot figure as well. The Bigfoot fig slept in a drawer because he unsettled me, but I always kept the Xenomorph close by. I adored that thing and took it everywhere (naturally, I lost the head covering and have never been lucky enough to find one to replace it). I’ve carried this guy around with me for 35 years and when I moved into my new home and got my very first office, I posed him to guard my first novel.

2014-04-06 17.34.20

Aside from Alien, however, Giger’s art work has been an obsession of mine as long as I’ve been cognizant of it and a constant source of pleasure and inspiration. If there was ever an aesthetic that spoke to me in a way that made me dream and imagine and inspired me to look into dark soil of my own mind for a place to plant ideas, it was that of the biomechanical landscapes and his Necronomicon paintings. If there was a way to consume and be consumed by his work, whether it was buying another Taschen book, seeing a shitty movie like Species (or a pretty decent one like Poltergeist 2), or playing a video game like Dark Seed, I was on board.

As a writer, when it comes to cosmic and unknowable darkness, in the way Lovecraft inspires other people, Giger’s is my go-to aesthetic. He’s the one who taught me what makes the stars frightening.

I never met the man, nor have I even been fortunate enough to see one of his original works in person,1 but I feel as though a good friend has gone forever. He challenged and provoked me and most of all his work has made me feel profoundly happy for three-quarters of my life.

Good night. Sleep well. I already miss you.

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1 Were I the kind of person who had a “bucket list” instead of just doing the things I want to do, I suppose that this would be on it. That said, I haven’t had the opportunity to get to it yet.

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~ by poǝןɔɐɯ uǝʞɔɐɹq on 13/05/2014.

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