Saturday, May 17, 2014

Art of HR Giger

This past week artist HR Giger passed away after complications from a fall at the age of 74. His artwork had an enormous influence on a lot of people in the gothic and industrial subcultures. I think everyone is familiar with his dark and disturbing imagery due in part to his work on the 1980 film Aliens, for which he won an Oscar.

Giger was born in 1940 in Switzerland, the son of a chemist. His father apparently thought art was a "bread less profession" and encouraged him to go into pharmaceuticals. Luckily Giger pursued his interest in art, and attended the Zurich School of Applied Arts in 1962, where he studied architecture and industrial design.
He fist started doing paintings in response to night terrors he was having, as a sort of art therapy. He started using air brush, but later switched to pastels and inks. As mentioned above his most famous work was on the Alien movie, but his books of art including Necronomicon and Necronomicon II also helped make him famous.

His style is immediately recognizable with it's cold and dark colours, and mix of industrial machinery with human and animal forms. Many have termed his work "biomechanical" and you can see why this had such an influence in the later industrial goth, and particularly cybergoth subcultures.
Personally I am not an enormous fan as the work is a little too dark and mechanical, but I know a lot of people who love his work. I have good Giger memories, like being exposed to his stuff at art school by a friend who was obsessed with his work, and some of the art being used on industrial/goth night
posters when I was playing in a local goth band.

What are your thoughts on Giger's work?

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Trend I'm Seeing Everywhere - The Side Cut

A couple of years ago I started seeing people in the goth/alternative community going for the side cut and sometimes the undercut as well. Most notably I remember when goth youtuber Sebastian Columbine got hers done, though there were others doing it as well. At the the time it was something that was edgy and still underground. Something only trendy with the darkling set, but now it seems to be everywhere! This spring I've seen it on everyone from teenagers waiting for the bus, to 40 year old moms at the drugstore to celebs like Miley Cyrus and Avril Lavigne. I'm wondering if the side cut has now crossed the line from alternative cool, to so trendy it's cliche?
I know there are a lot of people out there who are still rocking their side cuts and it looks great on them. I was wondering if having a hairstyle that was edgy become mainstream makes you dislike it? Or does it make one feel more comfortable?
I personally do not have this hairstyle and have no desire to get it. I think that growing it out would be a huge pain, and because my hair is rather fine and thin to begin with, I really need all the hair I have on my head. I also think it looks maintenance heavy, especially the kind where the buzzed part is dyed a different colour - though it does look amazing.
The hairstyle though is versatile and I've seen it expressed in a variety of ways, which I will show below (photos are from Pintrest). First it definetly can go with a goth styling.

This has a bit of a rockabilly touch to it.

It looks great with vibrantly coloured hair.

It also of course goes with deathhawks and "hawks of all kinds.

The addition of the tattoo is even more edgy (and quite the commitment).

It has been appearing as I said, in main stream hair styles too, both short and long.

What are your thoughts on the side cut. Do you love it or hate it? Is it too trendy? If you have one, do you find it difficult to maintain? Let me know your thoughts!

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