H.R. Giger, artist who designed 'Alien,' dies at 74

By Daniel S Levine,

Surrealist artist H.R. Giger has died at age 74. The Swiss artist gave generations of moviegoers nightmares with his unique design for the alien creature in Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic Alien.

Giger’s museum confirmed that Giger died Tuesday in Zurich after a fall, reports Reuters.

The artist, who was born Hans Rudolf Giger, was born in Chur, Switzerland in 1940. While he trained as an industrial designer, but his mother encouraged his passion for art, notes the Associated Press. Even in his early work, he showed a taste for the bizarre. At first, he used oil, but then became a pioneer of the airbrush. He also created sculptures.

Giger became popular during the 1970s, creating album covers. Later that decade, he began working on set designs in Hollywood, bringing his unique mix of humanity and machinery to the big screen. Nowhere is this more evident than in his designs for Alien. He even won the Best Achievement in Visual Effects Oscar for the film.

He also worked on Poltergeist II, Dune and Species.

“My paintings seem to make the strongest impression on people who are, well, who are crazy,” Giger told Starlog in 1979. “A good many people think as I do. If they like my work they are creative... or they are crazy.”

In 1998, Giger opened a museum in a medieval castle in central Switzerland, where his private art collection is on view. In addition to his own works, works by Salvador Dali and others are also on display. Carmen Maria Scheifele Giger, his second wife, runs the museum.



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