Saturday, November 5, 2005
Missing in Prague
H.R. Giger is, to say it up front, is one of my favorite artists. Yesterday, some mofos in Prague stole two of his paintings that were the basis for Emerson Lake and Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery album cover.
Here's the direct quote from Giger's website:
Missing in Prague,
Work # 217 and #218, ELP I and II, 1973, the cover designs for 'Brain Salad Surgery' by Emerson Lake & Palmer.
A reward of $10,000 is being offered for information leading to the recovery of these two world famous HR Giger paintings. They were last seen during the artist's 2005 retrospective at the National Technical Museum of Prague. Each painting measures 34 x 34 cm. without the frame. Despite claims to the contraryby the organizers of the exhibition, PP Productions of Prague, the paintings were NOT returned to HR Giger after the closing of the show on August 31, 2005. It is believed they are still in the Czech Republic. A reward of $5,000 for each painting, plus an all expenses paid weekend at the HR Giger Museum, Chateau St. Germain, in Gruyeres, Switzerland will be awarded to the individual supplying the information leading to their successful recovery.
Contact Les Barany, HR Giger's agent at: les@HRGiger.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
I mean. Goddamn people. I'm not 1/100th the artist he is but I treasure every sketch I've ever made. This must hurt like a stab wound to the heart.
Giger is a bridge. Through his character designs for Alien -- and, yeah, even his album cover art for ELP -- his disturbing visuals linked the cyberpunk writers of the 80s back to the New Wave writers of the 1960s. Giger was also a bridge to the perfervid visual dreamers of Metal Hurlant (Moebius and friends), repackaged as Heavy Metal in the states. I.e.: a handful of die-hard fans lived and died for that magazine. But everybody saw Alien. And the look and feel of all our dreams changed forever after we saw it.
I'm not just blowing smoke here, goddamnit. The sick yet sexy fusion of human and machine was exactly what Thomas Pynchon, Harlan Ellison were getting at. Sterling and Gibson picked up the ball and ran with it. The reason the ball was in play?
Giger showed you exactly what this perversely attractive future looked like.
In literary terms, Gibson and Sterling's skulls burst open with the viral, infested contagion of cyberpunk. Wordwise. But the image of what they were trying to say -- the fusion of humanity and machine -- had come before them in Giger's visual art. He supplied the illustrations and the visual concepts. They supplied the razor's edge fairy tales.
If Giger had never existed, cyberpunk as we know it wouldn't exist either.
It's a damn shame the gutless wonders who heisted his art don't exist.