Giger Gay Bars
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The artist formerly known as the architect H. R. Giger swore off Hollywood after several of his works of art were stolen by "Tinsel Town enfant terribles," as he calls the producers of Dune and Aliens, turning his hand, his airbrush, and, occasionally, his index finger to furniture design, interior design, and prostate massage. The former two endeavors, but not the latter, led to the opening of Giger Gay Bars across Europe and the continental United States of America.
In his bars, the clientele of which is largely "the gay, lesbian, and transgender crowd," the artist's extreme sadomasochistic "bio-mechanical art," which mixes pain and pleasure as well as human and machine, takes three-dimensional form, he says, "allowing the bar patron to experience my vision as few others have had the privilege of doing." The bars, he says, do more than even his sculptures, placing the viewer "inside the art work, making him, her, or it a part of the art itself."
Giger's art, which is inspired by Timothy Leary's descriptions of his hallucinogenic LSD "trips," Salvador Dali's "art as offense" theory, lyrics from The Doors songs, and his own nightmares during the frequent night terrors that Satan inflicts upon him in the wee hours of the morning, is bizarre, surreal, avante garde, often inspiring a feeling of disquiet, or even repugnance, on the part of the viewer. "Most homos, despite calling themselves 'gay,'" Giger says, "are full of disquiet and repugnance at their so-called 'lifestyle.' They feel right at home among my art, which shows a sterile, depressing, and suicidal obsession with non-procreative sex, or sex for sex's sake."
In his art, Giger says, "penises become mechanical devices for inseminating women, who are themselves cyborgs, half-human and half-machine, or penetrate anal orifices, which, of course, are associated with waste and elimination rather than with life and reproduction. Like women, my paintings are full of passageways, but, instead of opening upon an egg, they go nowhere, often winding back and forth in a circuitous pathway that has no purpose and would be better off not existing. Queers feel right at home in my gay bars."
Although many homosexual, bisexual, and transsexual men and women take issue, in private, with the artist's statements, few are willing to do so in a public forum, observing, as one gay man, Tommy Thomas, admitted on the condition of anonymity, that "in the art world, he's a god, and you can't be gay and oppose certain things, one of which is the art world. Besides, we gays, more than anyone, must be true to the principles of political correctness. Like Obi-wan, it's our last hope."
The interior design of the Giger Gay Bars is nothing if not unique; it is safe to say that there are no other bars like them in the world. The chairs resemble elongated human ribcages. The torsos of women hang, like half-decomposed corpses, from walls, a combination of muscle, bone, and metal, their nipples as sharp and pointed as needles. Windows open by themselves, resembling eyes or labia. Fetus-like statues hang from shards of glass embedded in ceilings that resemble uterine tissue. Walls are made up of row upon row and rank upon rank of aborted fetuses. Great arches support the ceiling, looking like the vertebrae of some gigantic leviathan. Mobiles shaped like giant dead centipedes are fixed with wire to rib-like rafters. The overall effect is to suggest that one is not in a place of life and joy as much as one is inside the body of a vast, decaying corpse. This is Giger's intent, he says: "I am showing the decadence of the so-called gay lifestyle, and of Western civilization itself, of which it is a part. We no longer celebrate life; we have become a culture of death, and that is what my art, including the Giger Gay Bars, reveals."
Giger Gay Bars have been closing at a rapid pace, the artist believes because of a crackdown inspired by the Gay Nazi Skinheads and Neo-Foreskins Party and the Lesbians for Truth, Justice, and the Lesbian Way. At present, only two remain open, one in Heterosexual, Montana and the other in Straight, Idaho. European Giger Gay Bars have been closed for over a decade.