HR Giger (Feb. 5, 1940 - May 12, 2014)
Have you ever seen the movie Alien? Well, HR Giger won an Academy Award for designing Alien. I have to admit, dark, gothic images are not my number one choice when it comes to art. However, I have always been a fan of surrealist art, and HR Giger's "bio-mechanical" brand of surrealism captured my imagination, and I'm sad to see the world lose an artist of his caliber. As I look through Giger's images, I am instantly reminded of my other favorite brand of surrealism, the Rider Waite tarot cards.
It is striking how so many of Giger's pieces could easily convey the meaning of the tarot, with a much darker and haunting twist, of course. I personally would not use the "Giger deck" in a reading, because it would undoubtedly freak out the average person, let alone those newly curious about tarot. Any ways, there are two things that I love to do, one is talk and learn about creative geniuses, and the other is reading tarot! So I thought we would spend our time together looking at Giger's paintings, and assigning them to tarot cards. HR Giger was a fan of tarot, this is a fun way to honor him.
The Fool, The Magician, and the High Priestess
The Fool - Do you notice the thin, flamboyant person walking on her tippy-toes, with two ravenous mouths in the background, waiting for the perfect moment to swallow her? It reminds me of the Fool card, because like in the Rider Waite deck, the Fool is about to walk off a cliff, and is too happy, eccentric, or fabulous to notice.
The Magician - The Magician is the initiator of the tarot, from which all the other cards derive. He holds a wand and is about to strike the tarot story into motion, not much different than what we see this character doing, in HR Giger's piece.
The High Priestess - She is the keeper of all things occult, mysterious, and divine. She sees everything with her third eye, and sits between two pillars labeled, B and J (Boaz and Jachin). Here in HR Giger's image, we see a woman also between two pillars, and she is breaking through chaos and illusions, seeing with eyes from within.
The Empress, The Emperor, and The Chariot
The Empress - She is the embodiment of beauty, nature, and nurture. In this HR Giger image, she is surrounded by what look like her children, and a serpent slides across her third eye, representing a deep awareness of nature.
The Emperor - He is a man of order, convention, and with his presence, commands obedience. The crown on top of HR Giger's man, and the square outline of his shoulders, all embody the towering effect the emperor has over his subordinates.
The Chariot - The Chariot represents drive, energy, and travel. As you can see here, HR Giger created an image that fits that description, with an added, bulldozing, commando effect.