HR Giger: Demon (work 413)

leading from

Giger finds out about the Nigerian synth-funk pioneer William Onyeabor album Atomic Bomb most likely from Bolaji Badejo who came from Nigeria, and then associates the oddity of the surname Onyeabor with name Hieronymus Bosch since they share the letters ONY and BO in the same order, leading him to merge the cover photo with a demon from Hieronymus Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights.

Uselessly, William Onyeabor + Hieronymus Bosch + Erebor = William Hieronyeamus Ereborsch!

What else is there to find in the image?

Perhaps the face of a Japanese Oni transformed into a Heike crab and there's The Big Top to consider

a) HR Giger: Demon (work 413) references Onyeabor's image from Atomic Bomb album cover?

b) HR Giger: Demon (work 513): William Onyeabor transforms into Hieronymous Bosch

c) The Big Top

d) Tolkien's book cover for The Hobbit

e) Connections with Arnold Böcklin's Island of the Dead 3.
Since he was a fan of the artist, I might also wonder if Gigr was thinking about one of the Arnold Böcklin Island of the Dead paintings, such as the right side of no.3 which would have a doorway where the nose of the demon was, connecting that with where the doorway in Erebor in the Tolkien book cover for The Hobbit would be found. This perhaps would mean that he was making a BO connection between Böcklin, Bosch and Onyeabor and the Big Top was near enough to the German for Island of the Dead being "Die Toteninsel" with Top and Tot.

Böcklin's Island of the dead 3

right half of painting reflected

f)  Oni and Japanese Heikegani crab
Another thing to point out is the word Oni in Japanese is a sort of a demon and the Japanese produce Oni masks, but I haven't seen one on the internet with anything in common with this face, but I wonder if Giger was thinking of one of those. And then thinking along the idea of something Japanese, I suppose the general structure of the thing resembles a Japanese Heikegani crab which has a face like form on the shell. Here's an image of one of the crabs, which is something we've come across before in Giger's painting, The Spell III. 

(See also: Giger's The Spell III)


  1. Hello! May be reasonable to add the connection between "Daemon (1978-B-513)" and "Aleph (1973-B-210)". The female figure with the hips above the head almost clearly a predecessor of the Daemon face.

    1. This is quite a tough one for me and perhaps not so straight forwards as on would like it to be because we are dealing with a sort of inside out perception with things coming from many directions when dealing with this surrealism.

      They came from the same imagination but came to be by different methods of creatively transforming, and have some similarities in terms of the final image, with body parts sticking out of the head, with lower faces broken up and tendrils of different sorts hanging down the side.

      The Aleph one would have been a photograph of an Ice Lord from Doctor Who creatively and wickedly transformed while this Demon appears to me to be a face made from different ideas that have come together by name association and then he transformed and merged images connected with those name associations.

      Meanwhile there is the Spell III demon face that appears to be Takada Shingen the Japanese Warlord's helmet transformed by a similar method the head in Aleph and both Demon and the demon from The Spell III have the Heikegani crab in common.

      If the Aleph face has any connection with word associations as well, I haven't encountered that yet. So Mordor IV has a chain of word and name associations running through it, and Alien Monster IV might have a little bit of that when he decided that Balrog and Ballard had something in common.

      Indeed we can form some sort of chain of paintings with faces that have been transformed by one sort of association or another at the moment, and have these two faces that you're comparing as quite similar in result (although one is a woman and the other is a demon) and self contained without bleeding into other things around the painting.

      There is more to discover and discuss about the matter and the complexity of it all should be appreciated.

      Many thanks!