Giger's Landscapes XIV, XVIII, XIX and XX.

Leading from
HR Giger's art

a) A woman's concerns
In 1993 Jessica Willis doing an article for NY Press approached Giger at the Alexander Gallery with the fact that Landscape XX gave her the feeling of being in a mass grave. It looked dead and dirty with dead bodies packed in the ground.

Landscape XIV, work 207 1972/1973

b) Giger's response
In response, Giger talked about the landscape XX and XVIII featuring human genitals in the act of sex and the landscape featuring babies. It was about the life cycle and he made it look dirty to look more realistic rather than science fiction. And so he mentioned that he wanted it to look like pizza. The subject matter in the picture he agreed was secondary. Having said that, the babies from landscape XIV look as if they're transforming into pasta.

landscape XVIII work215

c) Giger's concerns
Landscapes formed from babies would give Giger a particular thrill. He felt inspired to paint these repulsive children's heads because to him babies were so beautifully innocent but when he saw them en masse, they became threatening and seem to represent to him the beginning of all evil, and this would escalate into fears about overpopulation, with all its horrifying side effects such as epidemics, mass hysteria and total environment destruction.  Also when a baby is born, it already has a brain and that brain is not completely empty, it is aware of its own heart beating. And this also for him connected with his claustrophobic dreams, (See HR Giger's Passages I-IX) because he remembers when he was a little seed, swimming crazy and he could see others

Landscape XIX, (1973)

d)  Giger's personal use of the symbols
Giger started using these motifs, because in 1973, his father started to suffer from Cancer.  On the day it was first operated on, he painted the baby heads and their bodies act as open wounds. Shortly afterwards came the penises and when his father died, the skulls too. And this he viewed as his personal motive for the use of these symbols. Although the penis landscape was finished after the landscape with the skulls and his father, going by the Alien Diary, had possibly died around 1977.


Landscape XX, work 219

e) Connecting with his political views
There was also a political movie, he was a big enemy of overpopulate and therefore the three symbols, the baby, the penis and the skull became closely linked for him. He was firmly convinced that every problem in the world begins when there are too many people on the planet. There were too many people in every country and overpopulation for him resulted in non-individuality because a man can only develop a personality if he has air to breathe.

A meal with a pizza like topping being cut up in Giger's
Necronomicon documentary made in a rectangular tray

See also: Dead Kennedys' Frankenchrist and Giger's Penis Landscape

Source Quotes
  1. Voiceover: What led me to paint these repulsive children's heads which frighten all women, what scares me most is overpopulation with all its horrifying side effects such as epidemics, mass hysteria and totale environment destruction. (Giger's Necronomicon documentary)
  2. Jessica Willis : H.R. GIGER'S PAINTINGS SCARED THE SHIT OUT OF ME THE FIRST TIME I SAW THEM, SOME 10 YEARS AGO WHEN I was a naive girl. A friend of mine had a Dead Kennedys album and had to show me the poster inside, a print of Giger's Landscape XX. The painting is a well-rendered porno view of rows and rows of...well, copulating genitalia. I looked away in shock, and then looked at it again. Pure filth. Amazing. I haven't stopped looking. A decade later I'm standing in the Alexander gallery, staring at the actual Landscape XX, trying to replace my little girl shock with some of my new found sex-and-death theories. This can't just be about the horrible beauty of the form, I'm thinking. Sex is dirty. That's why Giger put his erotic paintings in a separate room, away from the rest of his exhibit. Twenty years ago, Giger painted his Landscapes, foretelling the death of sex and the aborted fetus mass graves. I eat another Godiva off the silver tray Mr. Tux presents to me, furthering my sugar coma. (NY Press,  November 10-16, 1993)
  3. Jessica Willis:When I look at your painting Landscape XX [1973, the airbrush of the copulating genitalia packed together] I get a feeling like I'm in a mass grave. It looks dead and dirty, like dead bodies packed in the ground.
    Giger: Mass grave? No, it goes with the babies. It's about the life cycle. I make them look dirty so it will be more realistic, not science fiction. I wanted it to look like pizza.
    Jessica Willis:: Pizza?
    Giger: Whatever you like."
    Jessica Willis: So the subject matter is purely secondary?
    Giger: Right.
    Jessica Willis: Have you ever gotten shit from women for these Landscapes?
    Giger: No, but Landscape XX was a little problem here in the States when the Dead Kennedys used it inside their album. They thought it was a photograph. When they found out it was an airbrush and that I had an Oscar they stopped giving me trouble. But I don't do much like this...it's ugly."
    Interviewer: It's very claustrophobic.
    Giger: I'm claustrophobic. My paintings are always filled up. It's a sign of craziness.
    Interviewer: Are you crazy?
    Giger: Nah.
    (NY Press,  November 10-16, 1993)
  4. Giger: Landscapes formed from babies have always given me a particular thrill. Babies are so beautifully innocent and yet when I see them en masse (a canvas, thank God, has its limits) they become threatening and seem to me to represent the beginning of all evil. When a baby is born, it already has a brain and that brain is not completely empty. It is aware of the heart beating. That's the reason why I have these strange claustrophobic dreams; I remember when I was a little seed, I was swimming like crazy and I could see others. (Clive Barker's A-Z of Horror)
  5. ZILLO: Die drei Grundsymbole in deinen Bildern sind der Babykopf, der Penis und der Totenschädel. Steckt dahinter eine tiefere Bedeutung?
    Zillo: The three basic symbols in your images are of the baby's head, the penis and the skull. Behind it a deeper meaning?
    GIGER: Ich habe angefangen, diese Motive zu verwenden, als 1973 mein Vater an Krebs erkrankt ist. Und an dem Tag, an dem er erstmals operiert wurde, habe ich die Babyköpfe gemalt, deren Körper wie offene Wunden wirken. Kurze Zeit darauf kamen dann die Penisse und - als mein Vater gestorben war - die Totenschädel dazu. Das ist mein persönliches Motiv für die Verwendung dieser Symbole.
    Es gibt aber auch noch ein politisches Motiv: Ich bin ein großer Feind der Über- bevölkerung, daher sind diese drei Symbole bei mir auch immer eng miteinander verknüpft. Ich bin der festen Überzeugung, daß jedes Problem auf der Welt damit anfängt, daß wir zuviele Menschen auf diesem Planeten sind. Die Überbevölke- rung hat für mich die Non-Individualität zur Folge, da ein Mensch erst dann eine Persönlichkeit entwickeln kann, wenn er Luft zum Durchatmen hat.
    GIGER: I've started to use these motifs, as in 1973 my father has cancer. And on the day on which it was first operated on, I have the baby heads painted, their bodies act as open wounds. Shortly afterwards came the penises and - had died when my father - the Skull to. This is my personal motive for the use of these symbols. But there is also a political motive: I'm a big enemy of overpopulation, therefore, these three symbols are with me always closely linked. I am firmly convinced that every problem in the world thus begins that we are too many people on this planet. The overpopulation has for me is the non-individuality result because a man can only develop a personality if he has air to breathe.
    ZILLO: Du glaubst aber nicht, daß die Überbevölkerung ein Problem rein der Dritten Welt ist?
    Zillo: But you do not believe that overpopulation is a problem purely of the Third World?
    GIGER: Natürlich nicht, ich bin doch kein Rassist! In meinen Augen gibt es in jedem Land der Erde zuviele Menschen.
    GIGER: Of course not, I'm not a racist! In my eyes there are too many people in every country on earth. (Zillo #12, 1997)

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