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












© 2014 - 2022 techgnotic
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What-if-and-Perhaps's avatar

His art was so especially potent, I don't think Hollywood has ever treated the work of a Painter/sculptor/designer as reverently, and meticulously as vigilantly as they did for this artist - they came together around him and did his bidding - with almost cultish attraction - No one can deny that the immediate impact of seeing one of his pieces for the first time - was enough to know he brought a universe with him. That's and the fact that no-one could really improve on the cohesive phenotype and genotype evolution of just the "Alien" creature, made him Grand Poohbah of the Xenomorph and the unique horrors therein. The only example of another artist even in the same neighborhood of affecting my psyche so viscerally, would be Patrick Tatopoulos and his work on "Silent Hill" the film and Masahiro Ito from the video game. (I confess I did not play the video game - my opinions were more formed around the Original "Silent Hill" Film and Tatopoulos)