H.R. Giger and Timothy Leary


H.R. Giger and Timothy Leary, November 1993. (Picture was either taken at New York’s Alexander Gallery or The Limelight nightclub, where a private dinner had been arranged in honor of Timothy, that Giger attended.)

We are so sorry to hear about H.R. Giger’s passing. It reminded us of this great picture we had in the archives of him with Timothy, from 1993.

Timothy Leary and H.R. Giger were good friends, and Leary wrote the foreword for Giger’s N.Y. City (Ugly Publishing, Zurich, 1981). They were introduced by their mutual friend and publisher, Dieter Hagenbach of Sphinx Verlag, Basel, who had invited Leary to write the foreword to the Sphinx edition of Alien Film Design (1979).

Here are a few quotes from the Leary’s foreword to N.Y. City :

“Giger’s N.Y. City reminds us that city life, civilizations, is an insectoid stage our species is passing through. The age of cities is over. Sure, no free intelligent person wants to spend his life as a furtive, shadowed rodent running around in a caverned metropolis. Like it or not, we are all insectoid aliens burrowing within our urbanoid bodies. Giger’s fleshscapes, his microscopic slides are signals to mutate. City dwellers alert! It is time to evolve! We shall no longer have to cling like barnacles and crawl like caterpillars in the darkness of our own metropolitan tissues. Giger’s art flashes the illumination of biological intelligence down into the dark caves of our cities. The genetic signals are clear. Crawl out of the city tunnels! Expose your plane membraned body to the sun and the sky! Unfold your glorious, silken wings! Soar above the planet surface and fly high into space! Here is the evolutionary genius of Giger…

Giger, you slice my tissues into thin microscopic slides for the world to see. Giger, you razor-shave sections of my brain and plaster them, still pulsing, across your canvas. Giger, you are an Alien lurking inside my body, laying your futique eggs of wonder. You have wound silken threads of larval cocoon around you and tunnelled down deep into my wisdom gland. Giger, you see more than we domesticated primates.”

— Timothy Leary

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