A Tribute to Hans Ruedi Giger

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He was an artist you might not know.

But you’ve met his children…

It’s rare that a “new” iconic monster is born and becomes forever identifiable,—— no matter the variations, by generation after generation. So it was when George Romero created the ultimate “zombie” in his Night of the Living Dead in 1968. Zombie Apocalypse fans today may have never heard of George or seen the original “Night,” but the zombies they so love in fare like The Walking Dead owe their existence to Romero’s original vision.

In 1979, screenwriter Dan O’Bannon crafted a horror script by starting with neither a story idea nor a hero protagonist to follow.

He built his script around the monster itself, knowing only that he wanted the frights to come from more-and-more revealing glimpses of one of artist H.R. Giger’s mad creations. That monster, the alien in Alien (1979), has now become what everyone knows a space alien to be. Most movie aliens since Alien have been modified versions of Giger’s creation. Giger is the father of today’s aliens, as Romero is the father of today’s zombies.

Alien, Front Viewby H.R. Giger

Alien Statueby H.R. Giger

Alien, Side Viewby H.R. Giger

Giger, who died May 12, was a nocturnal hermit painter, sculptor and set designer whose strength was translating nightmare visions into his bizarre works of art, many of which exuded a perverse sexuality. He is usually classified as a “surrealist,” but he called his art “biomechanics,” with its subjects often appearing to be hybrid living organic creatures having bodies melded with mechanical parts.

Brain Salad Surgeryby H.R. Giger

The 1970s generation will never get his album cover for Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Brain Salad Surgery out of their heads. Punk rock’s Dead Kennedys’ album Frankenchrist featured Giger’s painting, Penis Landscape, resulting in an obscenity trial for lead songer Jello Biafra. Giger’s first published book of artworks was 1977’s Necronomicon, named in homage to horror writer H.P. Lovecraft.

Giger was a touchstone artist for those in the 70s & 80s who sought to shake up the establishment with a walk on the wild side. Today he is thought of by many artists as being one of the exemplars of letting the mind go free—to explore either the light or the darkness—and be fearless in sharing what was found there in one’s art. His art might be considered “safe” today, but he was a real inspiration to many of today’s artists.

Necronomiconby H.R. Giger

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xxxxNekroidxxxx's avatar

Good shit! Fabulous looking page here... Love the tribute to the original... Well done!