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H.R. Giger 1940 - 2014
Alien designer dies aged 74

13 May 2014  |  Written by James White  

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H.R.-Giger-dies

Swiss artist H.R. Giger, who contributed design work to one of the most iconic creatures in cinema history for Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic Alien, has died at the age of 74.

Giger is best known for his biomechanical horror work, inspired, he said, by night terrors. Born in Switzerland in 1940, his father initially encouraged him to become a pharmacist, worrying that art was a “breadless profession.” But Giger was dedicated to design, and moved to Zurich in 1962 to study architecture and industrial design, where he developed his technique. After a period working as an interior designer, he switched to art full time, working on small ink drawings before moving to oil paintings and then to airbrushed work which owes a debt to Lovecraft and Giger’s friendship with Salvador Dali. Early books of his paintings bear the Lovecraft influence out, named for the Necronomicon.

But it was Necronom IV that would lead to his most famous design – that, and a fateful meeting with Alien co-writer Dan O’Bannon, who prior to his work with Ridley Scott had been hired to help Alejandro Jodorowsky on his adaptation of Dune. While that never came to pass, O’Bannon was struck by Giger’s design plans for Dune, and recommended him to Scott for Alien. Despite Fox executives’ worries that his work would be too disturbing for audiences, Scott was sold and hired Carlo Rambaldi to bring Giger’s vision to life. The result scored the effects team an Oscar and is forever etched on to our minds.

In addition to that memorable collaboration, Giger has gone on to become one of the most influential artists in the world. He’s also directed several films, including Swiss Made, Tagtarum, and Giger’s Necronomicon. His fingerprints can be found on the likes of Species and Poltergeist II: The Other Side. He’s also contributed designs for a wealth of albums and other projects.

He died on Monday afternoon in hospital from injuries sustained in a fall. Our thoughts are with his wife, Carmen Maria Scheifele Giger, who runs the museum dedicated to his work.


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Your Comments

Fusing the erotic, gothic and surreal Giger was an art movement unto himself. He inspired me from an early age with his fantastic dreamscapes and esoteric imagery. I was compelled to illustrate a tribute to him this week drawing imagery from his own works including Alien and the Birthing Machine at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2014/05/in-memoriam- hr-giger.html . Drop by and share how his artwork opened your own mind! More

Posted by dregstudios at 19:44 on 15 May 2014 | Report This Post

RE: H.R. Giger 1940 - 2014
Do you think H.R Giger work on Alien was a blessing and a curse at the same time? Lets not forget he could easily hold his own with any Artist out there during the 70's and yet he seems,to most audiences,to be nailed down as a concept artist for a successful Horror franchise when looking throughout his portfolio it is quite clear he was so,so much more than that. Anyway I just reinforce what others have rightly said as this is such sad news.Funny that for all the twisted,openly sexual More

Posted by OPEN YOUR EYES at 23:13 on 13 May 2014 | Report This Post

A VISIONARY Sci-fi LEGEND!!!
TRULY sad new's to hear that the MIGHTY H.R. GIGER has passed away this Monday. Who can forget this man's incredible, astonishing, beautifully disturbing "Game changing" Designs for Ridley Scott's "Alien"!?? He has no equal in the art world and probably never will,...this man changed the way we look of Sci -Fi Cinema forever...Pay your RESPECTS people!!! More

Posted by Ramone87 at 23:04 on 13 May 2014 | Report This Post

RE: H.R. Giger 1940 - 2014
R.I.P I just hope Fox can reach a deal with his wife and use his work for the next Alien film. More

Posted by Ghidorah at 16:05 on 13 May 2014 | Report This Post

RE: H.R. Giger 1940 - 2014
Sad news. RIP. More

Posted by NCC1701A at 14:56 on 13 May 2014 | Report This Post

RE: H.R. Giger 1940 - 2014
crap More

Posted by OPEN YOUR EYES at 13:04 on 13 May 2014 | Report This Post

RE: H.R. Giger 1940 - 2014
Damn. More

Posted by rich at 12:35 on 13 May 2014 | Report This Post

:( More

Posted by pete_traynor at 12:34 on 13 May 2014 | Report This Post

Nightmares?
I can remember an interview where he said he was afraid of his own visions. His designs are impressive but they always leave a chill with me as well. More

Posted by Pandora at 11:06 on 13 May 2014 | Report This Post

Sad to hear about H. R. Giger. What an amazingly original artist he was. I'll never forget when I sat down to watch Alien for the 1st time in 1978 that I knew his work was ground-breaking and may not ever be repeated. More

Posted by sid1662 at 10:09 on 13 May 2014 | Report This Post

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