H.R. Giger Tarot cards always predict an unsettling future

When the occultist Akron approached artist H.R. Giger about creating a deck of Tarot cards in the 1990s, Giger felt that he didn't have the time to create new works that would do the deck justice. So he selected 22 of his existing, previously unpublished pieces to represent each of the major arcana of Tarot. For those familiar with the symbolism associated with the cards, Giger's pieces are especially interesting for how well they line up with their subjects. And if you're not familiar with Tarot, these are simply another fascinating presentation of Giger's works.

In a 2001 interview with J. Karlin, Giger says that he never studied Tarot cards and in fact, had no interest in having his fortune told with them. (Giger claimed he was too superstitious, though he describes Akron's descriptions of the individual cards as "sometimes crazy, but funny-but not probably very serious.") He was, however, interested in the Tarot cards as a way to present illustrations. What's especially interesting about looking at these cards and reading the interview is that the cards have a context for Giger that is distinct from their identity as Tarot cards. But even so, Giger's mix of occult iconography, demonic organisms, and his trademark biomechanical aesthetic make for apt, if unusually dark Tarot illustrations.

The 2000 reissue of the cards is out of print, but { feuilleton } points to a few reasonably priced decks for Giger collectors. You can see all the cards at Cunei Media, but they are on the erotic side and a few are slightly NSFW.

HR Giger's Tarot of the Underworld [Cunei Media via feuilleton]


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