R.I.P.: H.R. Giger

Posted: May 14, 2014 in art, celebrities, cinema, movies, news
Tags: , , , , , ,

hr-gigerHans Rudolf Giger
5 February 1940, Chur, Graubünden, Switzerland – 12 May 2014 (aged 74), Zürich, Switzerland

Alien designer H.R. Giger dies at 74

The Swiss artist and designer of Ridley Scott’s Alien, H. R. Giger, has died aged 74. Giger died in hospital on Monday (12) after he fell down stairs at his Zurich home.

Source: BBC News.


Born in 1940, Hans Ruedi Giger was best known for his ‘Xenomorph’ alien in Scott’s sci-fi horror masterpiece for which he won a visual effects Oscar in 1980. He studied architecture and industrial design in Zurich and was known for creating strange dreamscapes.

Meticulously detailed, Giger’s surrealist paintings were usually produced in large formats and then reworked with an airbrush and usually feature scenes of humans and machines fused together. Giger described his style as “biomechanical”. One of his pieces in particular – Necronom IV – inspired the alien killer in Sir Ridley’s hit film. He also worked on Alien 3 (1992) and, more recently, appeared in a documentary about director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s unmade film of the book Dune.



Stewart Jamieson a friend and colleague of the artist said it was “natural that people will look at Alien as being his biggest impact because of its attention but his legacy is far more than that”. “He was one of the primary surrealist artists of his generation,” he told the BBC. “He never considered himself a film designer, he was an artist and Alien was a different canvas for him to work on.”

British film director Edgar Wright tweeted: “RIP the great HR Giger. The Swiss surrealist who made night terrors into unforgettable art. We will miss you.”



Giger’s vision of a human skull inside a machine appeared on the cover of Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s 1973 album, Brain Salad Surgery. He also designed covers for Debbie Harry’s solo album, Koo Koo.

Despite the dark nature of Giger’s work, Mr Jamieson said: “The old adage that you can’t judge a book by his cover was appropriate with him. He was a very sweet man. The first time we met, I was amazed by how generous and shy he was.” In 1998, Giger opened his own museum in Gruyeres, Switzerland, which alongside his own paintings and sculptures, displays works from his own art collection from the likes of Salvador Dali, Dada and Ernst Fuchs. The museum is run by the artist’s wife, Carmen Maria Scheifele Giger. In December 2004, Giger received the prestigious award, La Medaille de la Ville de Paris, at Paris City Hall.




Last year, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in Seattle, along with fellow inductees, David Bowie and JRR Tolkien. His work has also been exhibited around the world, including recent retrospectives in Hamburg, Germany, Moscow and Istanbul.

Film Contribution:

Dune (designs for unproduced Alejandro Jodorowsky adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel; the movie Dune was later made in an adaptation by David Lynch.)
Alien (designed, among other things, the Alien creature, “The Derelict” and the “Space Jockey”)
Alien 3 (designed the dog-like Alien bodyshape, plus a number of unused concepts, many mentioned on the special features disc of Alien 3)
Alien: Resurrection
Poltergeist II: The Other Side
Killer Condom
Species (designed Sil and the Ghost Train in a dream sequence)
Batman Forever (designed radically different envisioning of the Batmobile; design was not used in the film)
Future-Kill (designed artwork for the movie poster)
Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis (creature designs)
Prometheus (the film includes “The Derelict” spacecraft and the “Space Jockey” designs from the first Alien film, as well as original extraterrestrial murals created exclusively for the new movie. Unlike Alien: Resurrection, the film credited H. R. Giger with the original designs.)

Read more: Wikipedia.
















Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s