The brilliant Swiss artist H.R. Giger, most famous for the creature design in the movie Alien, has died at the age of 74. He died from injuries sustained after he fell down stairs at his home in Zurich.
We would like to pay homage to the man that gave us some of the most brilliant, creepy and memorable art ever.
Giger was born in 1940 in the Swiss city of Chur. The young Giger declined his father’s advice to enter into the business of pharmaceutics, and chose to study architecture and industrial design instead. Giger eschewed more traditional career paths, again, in favour of artistic pursuits.
His art was uniquely strange and surreal, but also powerfully dark. Influenced by the work of Salvador Dali, H.P. Lovecraft and Ernst Fuchs, he painted nightmarish worlds, where human bodies melded with machines in the dark. He referred to this aesthetic as ‘biomechanical’. His paintings frequently pushed the boundaries of acceptability, using strong sexual imagery, often in disturbing ways. During this period, he pioneered using the airbrush as an artistic medium.
His most famous work from this period was 1977’s Necronomicon, which compiled several of Giger’s pieces together. This is the book that found its way into the hands of Ridley Scott as he was in pre-production for Alien. Amazed by what he saw, Scott invited Giger to produce artwork, set and character designs for the film. – IGN
In 1998, he opened his own museum in Gruyeres, Switzerland, which still houses many of his original paintings and sculptures. And last year, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in Seattle.
Although ostensibly grim and oppressive, Giger always had a very different view of his own work: “There is hope and a kind of beauty in there somewhere, if you look for it.”
Some of his Alien masterpieces:
He also designed this awesome Alien bar in Tokyo: