'ALIEN' ARTIST H.R. GIGER DEAD

Published on: May 12, 2014
Photography by: 20th Centuty Fox "alien"
'ALIEN' ARTIST H.R. GIGER DEAD
'ALIEN' ARTIST H.R. GIGER DEAD

H.R. GIGER whose nightmarish visions of metal and flesh fueled the ALIEN film franchise has died in Switzerland at age 74.

Giger, who designed the creature and key coincept art for  Ridley Scott's sci-fi horror classic "Alien," died  from injuries suffered in a fall, his museum told AP.

From showcasing H.P. Lovecraft’s Necronomicon, Emerson Lake & Palmer’s “Brain Salad Surgery” or Debbie Harry albums,  Giger's paintings, often 8 feet tall, depicted a cyber-punk vision of humans and machines fused into “biomechanical hybrids.”

Giger not only influenced a generation of filmmakers but also a whole craze in creepy Giger-esque tattoos.

"My paintings seem to make the strongest impression on people who are, well, who are crazy," Giger told Starlog magazine in 1979. "If they like my work they are creative ... or they are crazy."

Born Hans Ruedi Giger on Feb. 5, 1940, the budding surrealist's obsession with sex, metal and death earned him the scorn of art critics. The owner of a gallery that showcased Giger’s early worked often washed the spittle from the windows from disgusted passersbys.

Giger later work as a set designer for Hollywood, contributing to "Species," "Poltergeist II," "Dune," and  "Alien," for which he received a 1979 Academy Award for special effects.

Giger was pleased that his idea of machinery fused with flesh became an enduring motif in so-called body art.

"The greatest compliment is when people get tattooed with my work, whether it's done well or not," he said.

"To wear something like that your whole life is the largest compliment someone can pay to you as an artist."

Yet, as we all remain plugged-in to our devices be it iPad, computer, mobile phone – are we not already living in Giger’s cyber-punk world of the “new flesh”?