Farewell to Artist/Sculptor/Designer Rene Cigler

Model wearing one of René Cigler’s apocalyptic adornments.

Sad news from BoingBoing: artist René Cigler has passed away. Cigler’s many talents included illustration, sculpture, costuming, toy design  and running her own shop, Strange Monster, with partner Cameron Smith in Portland. My favorite works by Rene were always her apocalyptic costume designs, many of which were worn by dancers in Ministry’s stage performances, as well as in the film version of Tank Girl.

Gareth Branwyn once described Cigler’s costume work as having a unique sense of play:

Cigler does a great job of creating a strong field, a believable fiction, around her work. Even though this type of industrial/post-apocalyptic/Road Warrior art has been done to death, René’s work still seems fresh and interesting. One saving grace is that her sculptures have a sense of humor – they don’t seem to take themselves too seriously … hub cap necklaces, hats made out of barbecue grills, purses made out of cereal boxes and rubber car mats. This is the kind of high fashion one might imagine wearing after the world has run out of oil, the rainforests are gone, and the local supermall offers nothing but mountains of rubble (fashion accessories?) and lurking blood-thirsty mutants.

Among her many publications (which ranged from Penthouse to People to Heavy Metal), there is one very striking cover:

Boing Boing Magazine, Issue 11

René, you will be missed.

9 Responses to “Farewell to Artist/Sculptor/Designer Rene Cigler”

  1. Mer Says:

    This is heartbreaking. So young…. RIP.

  2. Tequila Says:

    A sense of play is right on. I like the level of detail though, intricate without getting chaotic. The headpieces are real treats too…just beautiful.

    May she Rest in Peace

    Quite the week, some very creative and notable people have passed on.

  3. Vivacious G Says:

    Horribly horribly sad.

  4. Anabel Says:

    I am going to miss my friend. Thank you for this.

  5. David Forbes Says:

    You’re right Tequila, it’s been a hard week for creative artists.

    I just saw Tank Girl last night. Damn, that is sad.

  6. Eirik Aswang Says:

    She was my art mother.

    Her Bondage Babies sculptures gave my work direction.

    She will be missed.

    I first say her work in <> magazine issue 19 page 20 back in the 90’s
    When she moved to SF in 2003ish we would hang out often; I was sad when she moved to Portland.

    My heart goes out to Cameron, I’m sorry man.
    And to all her loved ones.

  7. R. Says:

    I agree, Tequila, also. It has been a hard week. Too many creative people have passed. They will all definitely be missed.

  8. S. Says:

    Does anyone know what happened?

  9. MKtwo Says:

    I had the honor and privilege of working with Rene a number of times during the late 80s early 90s as a performance artist, as well as knowing her while she was a student… I am deeply saddened to just now hear of her passing. She is missed much. Be at Peace Rene, we Love you!!!