R.I.P. H.R. Giger

By Dr. Know on May 13th, 2014

Swiss surrealist artist H.R. Giger, who designed the creature and revolutionary sci-fi sets for the film Alien, has died. He was 74.

Best known for designing the titular monsters in Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien, which earned him an Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, Giger also worked on a number of other films including Poltergeist IISpecies, as well as director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s attempt at bringing the novel Dune to the big screen. Giger even worked on a design for the Batmobile for the third Batman film, Batman Forever, though his design went unused in the film. His artwork was also used for the movie poster for the schlocky Future Kill.

Giger was also known for his sculptures, paintings and furniture and many of these works are on display at his own museum in a medieval castle in Gruyeres, central Switzerland, which is run by his second wife, Carmen Maria Scheifele Giger.

His work explored the relationship between the human body and the machine, and he created surrealist images of humans fused with industrial parts, a style he described as “biomechanics.”

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

The museum, which opened in 1998 also houses Giger’s private art collection, including works by Salvador Dali.

Here’s a 2010 documentary about Giger and his work.