Friday, February 05, 2016

Arty Farty Friday ~ H. R. Giger

H.R. Giger, surrealist, artist, sculptor, architect and designer was known for his dark, somewhat satanic artworks, said to have been inspired by his own nightmares. His work included, famously, his work on the 1979 movie Alien, including design of the title character. Giger died in 2014 of injuries suffered from a fall.

Excerpts from a New York Times obituary by Douglas Martin.

Hans Ruedi Giger was born on
Feb. 5, 1940, in the southeastern Swiss town of Chur. Fascinated with things dark and strange, he regularly visited an Egyptian mummy and sarcophagus in a local museum.

“The places I liked most were the dark ones,” Mr. Giger told the Swiss Public Broadcasting Corporation. “As soon as I could dress myself I wore black.”
His father urged Hans, who called himself a “horrible student,” to follow him into the pharmacy business. Instead he studied industrial design at the School of Applied Arts in Zurich.

After working as an interior designer, he switched to art full time, starting with small ink drawings. He moved on to large airbrushed work on surrealistic themes inspired by Salvador Dalí, who became a friend.

Mr. Giger’s early exhibitions were controversial for their depictions of death and sex. Galleries had to wipe the spit of disgusted neighbors from their windows.

A thread running through Mr. Giger’s work was the uneasy meshing of machines and biology, in a highly idiosyncratic blend of science fiction and surrealism. From books to movies to record albums to magazine illustrations to a back-scratcher inspired by “Alien,” his designs challenged norms. He kept a notepad next to his bed so he could sketch the terrors that rocked his uneasy sleep — nightmarish forms that could as easily have lumbered from prehistory as arrived from Mars.

“Giger’s work disturbs us, spooks us, because of its enormous evolutionary time span,” Timothy Leary, the psychedelic drug guru and a friend of Mr. Giger’s, once said. “It shows us, all too clearly, where we come from and where we are going.”

Mr. Giger’s relationship with the Swiss actress Li Tobler ended with her suicide in 1975. His subsequent marriage, to Mia Bonzanigo, ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife, Carmen Scheifele-Giger.

Giger website is HERE. There are numerous examples of Giger's work at Google Image.

Two videos showing some of Giger's work. The first (5+ minutes long) is narrated and includes remarks from Mr Giger himself. The second is longer: 20+ minutes.


Born on 5 February 1940 in Chur, Switzerland at 4.45 PM
(data from 'A' rated)

Regarding his style and choice of subject matter only:

Textbook astrology would advise, when considering an artist (and reputed satanist) such as H.R. Giger, looking for Scorpio and/or Pluto prominence in the natal chart, to reflect this artist's choice of style and subject matter. There's no Scorpio planet in his natal chart, but Pluto is quite close to his ascendant angle (within 7 degrees or so) if his time of birth is near accurate. One box ticked? Pluto trines Jupiter, which could be seen as expanding Pluto's already powerful position and presence in the chart.

Perhaps, also, Giger's art and sculpture style is reflected in the Grand Trine linking Uranus, Neptune and Moon. These are in the practical Earth signs, and much of his artwork involves practical skills as well as artistic and imaginative ones. His futuristically inclined Aquarius Sun and Mercury square Uranus, while planet of the arts, Venus, opposes Neptune, but sextiles Uranus. It's a tangled web, but key players, Neptune (creativity), Uranus (odd, surreal), Venus (art), Aquarius (futuristic) and Moon (inner self) are all part of it, and all clearly represent Giger's choices, with strong input also from his prominently placed Pluto.


mike said...

Giger's work signifies the notion that evil is in the head...and Isabel Hickey's line, "evil is live spelled backward". I don't believe that evil (or the devil, which is lived spelled backward), is a pre-existing force. It's something contrived by humans and Giger manages to bring it forth into reality. I can see how those drawn to the darker side of human life hold him in esteem, as he manages to dehumanize life into the reptilian instinct within our brain stems.

Assuming Saturn-Uranus co-rule Aquarius, all of his planets have Mars as final dispositor. His Mars is conjunct Saturn at the midheaven of career, public standing, and how others perceive Giger. His works have a male-force domination-submission theme of the female, with cold, metallic, dark, and saturnine feel. Pluto in the 12th house with Chiron would bring themes of regeneration and redemption, whether through life or death, sorrow or joy. I noticed on Wiki that his dark art started as a form of therapy, which fits the Chiron placement, particularly with Chiron in mutual reception to the Moon, in opposition. I'd also venture that he desperately wanted to find some bright light in his life, with Sun and Mercury in his 7th house, he would have seen "other", relationships, as his benefactor.

mike (again) said...

P.S. - Good thing Giger wasn't a politician...LOL

Many born with 12th house Pluto are benign and others are questionable:

The Donald, Dali, Ted Bundy, Madonna, Andy Warhol, Anna Nicole Smith, Marquis de Sade

mike (again) said...

Giger's Moon in Capricorn opposes Chiron and the Moon's natural sign of Cancer. Chiron is not in mutual reception.

Twilight said...

mike + (again) ~ Thanks for these astrological pointers. Pluto, in this case, though in 12th house, which usually signifies something isolated, hidden, is still within (I think) one of the "Gauquelin sectors", supposedly indicating extra significance in the chart. Gauquelin didn't study Pluto positions though, but if the sectors work for some planets (e.g. Mars) I don't see why they shouldn't work, in some way or other, for the rest. I see Giger's gravitation to the dark side, artwise, as purely Pluto to those viewing it. Maybe for himself it was a form of therapy, 12th house stuff, whereas for the rest of us Pluto flavour out there and prominently on show.

I don't like his art at all, though I have first house Pluto myself, I don't think it's within the Gauquelin sector. I couldn't get through the longer video I posted - too much of a bad thing, though I do admit he had exceptional talent.