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‘Alien’ Artist H.R. Giger Has Died


H.R. Giger, the Swiss surrealist who designed the groundbreaking monster and sets for the original ‘Alien’ movie, has died from injuries after a fall. He was 74 years old.

Giger was born Hans Rudolf in Switzerland in 1940. He studied architecture and industrial design before he started drawing the famous nightmarish landscapes that made him popular. His surreal work often included the merging of human and machine forms.

This helped give the first ‘Alien’ movie, in 1979, its signature look. As much as director Ridley Scott, Giger was responsible for that film’s terrifying tone. His designs on the alien planet remain influential all these years later. In 1980 he won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects.

Giger’s work has also graced the album covers of artists ranging from Danzig and Debbie Harry to ELO and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. He was also responsible for a painting called ‘Penis Landscape’ that ended up inside the Dead Kennedys’ 1985 ‘Frankenchrist’ album, a work that caught the attention of the Parent’s Music Resource Center (PMRC) and resulted in a trial.

Much of Giger’s work is on display (as is his personal collection of others’ artwork) at the H.R. Giger Museum in Gruyeres, Switzerland.

Next: Other Artists We've Lost in 2014

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