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H.R. Giger, Alien Artist and Designer, Dead at Age 74 92

M3.14 writes: "H. R. Giger, the Swiss artist and designer of Ridley Scott's Alien, has died, aged 74. Hans Rudolf 'Ruedi' Giger sustained injuries caused by a fall, Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung has reported (link in German — English summary available). The terrifying creature and sets he created for Ridley Scott's film earned him an Oscar for special effects in 1980. In the art world, Giger is appreciated for his wide body of work in the fantastic realism and surrealistic genres. Film work was just one of his talents. Giger is also known for his sculptures, paintings and furniture. The H.R. Giger Museum, inaugurated in the summer of 1998 in the Château St. Germain, is a four-level building complex in the historic, medieval walled city of Gruyères. It is the permanent home to many of the artist's most prominent works."
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H.R. Giger, Alien Artist and Designer, Dead at Age 74

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  • RIP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:44PM (#46991471)
    Rest in Peace, creepy-as-hell man...
  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:45PM (#46991477) Homepage Journal

    I suspect Geiger can appreciate one more morbid, vaguely phallic shape as he's laid to rest.

  • Aliens (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:49PM (#46991523)

    A moment of silence please. I can't think of another artist who's had such a profound visual influence on sci-fi culture.

    • Re:Aliens (Score:5, Funny)

      by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:51PM (#46991549) Homepage Journal

      In space, everyone can hear your moment of silence.

    • Syd Mead dude! I can think of one other artist. Hrrrrm... And Ralph McQuarrie.

      • by xclr8r ( 658786 )
        Phillip Drulliet too. His pieces were pretty trippy and heavily detailed sci-fi inspired work. Think Adam Warlock meets Aliens.

        Here is a google image search - http://goo.gl/zlw7bl [goo.gl]
    • by Anonymous Coward

      of course, being contemporary and associated with a monster-hit series of movies, he is pretty well known, even among non-sci fi fans...
      HOWEVER, as an old-school sci fi fan, i would put other names from the 'golden age' on the list:
      frank kelly freas, for one... i have a bunch of his prints, and the one over my desk -the gulf between- is simply a classic...
      of course, he had plenty of skin-tight suited space babes being menaced by BEM's...

    • And, Moebius, Chris Foss, Derek Meddings. I know that last one might generate some controversy, as Derek's known more as a special effects guy, but his designs for vehicles (particularly for Gerry Anderson productions) were 30 years ahead of their time.

      Still, gonna miss Mr. Creepy. Giger did some incredible work, especially for the Dune film that never got made.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:50PM (#46991537) Homepage
    "I'll pedal a bicycle made out of nightmares, straight up your ass"
    --H.R. Giger, Probably.
  • RIP HRG (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:52PM (#46991555)

    It's a terrible day... the last non-hack artist involved in horror fiction and sci-fi has passed on. While Giger isn't taken too seriously in the fine art world he's certainly worthy of their attention. Too bad he'll likely be mostly remembered as a graphic pop artist.
    Rest well, old boy.

  • I first really encountered Giger's art when I was collecting the Taschen "Basic Art" series of short full-colour introductions to various artists. There's a Giger one [amazon.com]. Frankly, I think him fairly mediocre as an artist for traditional gallery exhibition. Limited range and repetitive concerns. However, he definitely made an incredible contribution to film (and LP cover art)

    I do wonder how long his popularity will last after his death. He started making an institution of himself early, and there is a Giger museum in Switzerland. However, Vasarely for example did the same four decades ago and interest in him has collapsed greatly.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      but Vasarely is just a hack. nobody would give two shits about him now, but op art crap was mildly interesting before internet gif's. mainly because you hadn't seen it a thousand times.

      and I say a hack, because gieger wasn't a hack, in the sense that it's fairly easy for anyone with modern sw to produce art that could quite easily be claimed to have been done by him. however, gieger is total opposite of that - like, out of 1000 guys who could do imitation vasarely art only 1 could do imitation gieger art, b

    • by TWX ( 665546 )
      I'd never heard of Vasarley by name until you mentioned him. Looked up some of his work and it's interesting, but a lot of it looks like what I see from semirandom mathematical functions from computer screensavers with no attribution or other credit to an artist or even a genre of art.

      By contrast, Giger's work is not nearly as widely replicated or copied without attribution, and it's macabre and controversial enough that it's not widely distributed without context, it's not generally polite for mixed co
      • by Richy_T ( 111409 )

        Reminds me of one night I was up late and an animation from 1960s Russia came on. It was basically white outline squares moving in various patterns all over the screen. Clearly it was hand animated and probably was many months of work for the animator. Could have been done in an hour or two using modern techniques

    • by grub ( 11606 )

      I do wonder how long his popularity will last after his death.

      Who are we talking about again?
    • Limited range and repetitive concerns.

      Oh, I dunno. How long has Mark Rothko's influence / popularity lasted?

  • An inspiration to many.

    Huffpo Canada story [huffingtonpost.ca]

  • I bet his his tombstone will be awesome.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @02:36PM (#46992093)

    BTW, did they ever recover the original Giger cover art for ELP's Brain Salad Surgery album?

    • Goddamn, he did that, didn't he? Forgot about that cover until you mentioned it. Gave me the creeps during several college mescaline / psilocybin trips. Now I'll probably flashback on that all week.


  • I was sad to hear this...we've lost a great artist and designer...also: who will unscrupulous scifi concept artists going copy off of now?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    H.R. Geiger had a lot to do with the Fredirico De Laurentis / David Lynch version of Dune made in 1984... The beautiful set work he did on that movie was amazing, not really his darker stuff, but I could see his "organic" look in the designs of the Guild Navigators, the design of Shadaam IV's throne room space ship and the really amazing cool set design on Castle Caladan. Sand-worms and the Fremen Sietches too. I think that the Sy Fy version of Dune and Children of Dune were good but the set designs were p

    • He was chosen by Alejandro Jodorowsky, who came up with the first "Dune" screenplay. If it wasn't for Jodorowsky, we might not have seen the same "Alien". These guys brought surrealism to the mainstream.

  • I had a long phase where if I was going to have a nightmare, it typically involved having a xenomorph coming straight at me and my pulse rifle being out of ammo. I'm serious. The nightmares were rare, but seemed to correspond with days when I was feeling impotent to deal with some life problem.

    You have to give it to him, his art was effective.

    • I kinda know how you feel.

      I made the mistake of seeing Aliens in 1986 during its first run in theaters... after eating a gram of shrooms. (It was that or The Song Remains the Same for the fifth time instead.)

      It's still my favorite movie of all time. Spawned my username, too. Been using it ever since.

  • I took my online name from his Necronom IV painting. His Alien, Derelict, and many other designs are some of my favourites in film history. His work was truly original. No-one else's work I've seen is as quite as disturbing, original, and amazing as his. I've been a fan since I first saw the films. A sad loss.

  • by Col. Klink (retired) ( 11632 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @04:58PM (#46993583)

    When the Jello Biafra was on trial for distributing "Harmful Matter," it was because a poster of Giger's "Penis Landscape" was included in the Frankenchrist LP (Jello Biafra actually wanted to use it as the album cover, but his bandmates rejected that idea).

  • Into darkness sink all images;
    God paints on the cavas of life once more.
    Standing armored to fight with crest and shield,
    Meanwhile the enemy blackens the field.
    And the heards are dying of thirst below the blazing suns,
    The ice cliff walls now flow into a little brook hissing
    Into the earth, and you are fishing
    Where there are no fish.
    Then into the fiery abyss you dive
    Where, trembling, you find that the dead are alive.
    In a hell where they horribly change and swirl
    As around Gorgo's head they unfurl.
  • This is really sad. I had the privilege of seeing the original Alien prop up close at a special exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany. It was a lot more than what we got a glimpse of in the movie. It had an "industrial" look and feel, quite different from the sleek Aliens in the later films. Giger experimented a lot with sexual references and the genitalia. The Alien's elongated head is a phallic reference. The alien eggs originally had a single slot on top that looked like a vulva, that he later changed into a

  • I hope he's gone to his personal heaven...

    Because I quail from imagining what his hell might look like.

  • I need a face hug to console myself.
    In fact, I'm also feeling sick in my stomach.

  • by msobkow ( 48369 )

    Hopefully his dreams weren't haunted by imagery as strange as his paintings.

    • His dreams were the inspiration for much of his work apparently. From Wikipedia: "Giger suffered from night terrors and his paintings are all to some extent inspired by his experiences with that particular sleep disorder."

  • Alas. Those wall calendars were fantastic.

    Best wishes in whatever comes next and thanks for the freaky art.

  • While most of you remember him from aliens fame, Darkseed was inspirational for me.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... [wikipedia.org]

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.