Monday 5 November 2018

HR Giger: Skizzen

10 years ago I was lucky enough visit the home of fellow HR Giger fan and avid collector; Dave Julian. Subsequently I was lucky enough to call this wonderfully hospitable and welcoming man my friend and reunite with him earlier this year in Gruyeres. When visiting Dave's house I marvelled at his amazing collection ranging from posters, prints and books to jewellery, albums and photos and everything in between. At the time I was a fresh faced college student desperate to get to the HR Giger Museum, but unequipped financially, logistically and lacking a lot of of the necessary knowledge to make my pilgrimage. I appealed to Les Barany, Gigers agent, for help, and he kindly put me in touch with some wonderful folks a little closer to home who were willing, most kindly, to share their personal collections with me. After having my eyes well and truly opened by Dave's collection all those years ago I have actively added to my own collection bit by bit over the years. But for one reason of another there has always been certain pieces which stuck with me and I am always dreaming of owning. The film design book with the fold out Alien 3 design, wonderfully crafted pieces of jewellery (one of which I am now lucky enough to call my own), the NYC portfolio (yeah I can dream!) and of course, Skizzen.

As they say good things come in small packages and for me Skizzen was just that. By no means a flash statement, this unassuming little grey book totally and utterly captivated me. It was utterly charming and a format rarely seen in a commercial book. Each page features one of Giger's sketches. Pure, raw, honest. A brief glimpse into the mind of a genius. His thought processes, the development of his ideas, what made the great man tick. His sketchbook laid bare in every detail. I found it mesmerizing and nothing short of incredible.

Since seeing Dave's copy of Skizzen all those years ago I think of that little book often and what for me is utterly unrivalled beauty. Perhaps the signs of a truly obsessive book collector. For many years I have hoped some how one day I would have a Skizzen of my own, though knowing it is a very rare book which can command a high price I never expected to get my hands on one, not really.

Then suddenly just under a month ago I received an email. It was an alert from eBay which I had set up to inform me of anything appearing relating to 'Giger Skizzen'. I set up the alert so long ago I had honestly forgotten all about it. For the first time I had found a copy at a price I could afford. I thought about it for around 5 minutes (probably less) and in the end with the words 'you might never see another one' and 'how long have you waited for this?' ringing in my ears I pressed the buy it now button and waited what felt like the longest week for it to arrive from Germany. I was fearful it was too good to be true, would something be wrong? Damage? Missing pages? A fake? Or it just not arrive.

Upon Skizzen's eventual arriva,l I checked it all over, to my relief everything was as it should have been. And finally, after all those years, all that searching through book shops and stalls for countless hours, all that hope that if I looked long enough one would be there waiting. Skizzen was mine. And boy was it worth waiting 10 years for. Never lose hope.

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