Photo: Courtesy of HRGiger.com.
H.R. Giger, the shadowy surrealist who created the the look of Alien, has died. The 74-year-old Swiss artist passed away after sustaining injuries from a fall, according to an employee of the H.R. Giger museum.
Giger was best-known for designing the Xenomorph creature in Ridley Scott's 1979 film, for which he won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects. Among other projects, he also worked with avant-garde filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky on an uncompleted adaptation of Dune, which recently became the subject of a documentary.
His work straddled the line between cyberpunk and goth, which made it attractive to many musicians. Giger created album art for Danzig, Debbie Harry, Dead Kennedys, and others. With an idiosyncratic aesthetic that might be best described as nightmarish, he often depicted dreamscapes filled with skulls, sexual fetish imagery, and half-organic, half-mechanical hybrids. Giger primarily worked with airbrush, pastels, and ink, but he also created sculptures — and Korn's lead singer, Jonathan Davis, once commissioned Giger to craft a "biomechanical" microphone stand.
Now, the H.R. Giger Museum in Gruyères, Switzerland, contains a permanent collection of his body of work, where it is overseen by his wife, Carmen Maria Scheifele Giger.
Below is a documentary about Giger's work on Alien and the creation of his his first compendium of paintings, Necronomicon: