Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tribute: H.R. Giger (1940 - 2014)


The press is now reporting the death of H.R. Giger (1940 - 2014), the Swiss artist who became world-renowned for his surrealist and bio-mechanics works of art.

An Academy-Award  artist, the legendary Giger created the design of the titular creature in Alien (1979), a design featured not only in that Ridley Scott film, but in Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992), Alien Resurrection (1997), AVP (2004), AVP: Requiem (2007) and the recent Prometheus (2012).  



Mr. Giger's unparalleled imagination thus contributed one of the cinema's greatest and most memorable boogeymen.  Before Alien, space monsters were largely less-than-impressive-looking men in bad-fitting monster suits.  With Alien, the paradigm changed dramatically, and these space-bound nightmares became more authentic and terrifying.

Mr. Giger also designed Sil, the alien being in the Species (1995) franchise, and was a conceptual designer on Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986). His work is evident in the sequence wherein Mr. Freeling (Craig T. Nelson) throws up a rapidly-growing Tequila Worm that transforms into a skeletal Reverend Kane.



Additionally, Mr. Giger is also famous for his design concepts on the aborted Alejandro Jodorowsky version of Dune.




If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery as is often said, then the late, great Mr. Giger has long been flattered indeed.

His signature aesthetic -- the oddly-sexual conjunction of human and machine -- has been copied many times in the cinema and on TV, a sign of his fame, but most importantly his creative imagination and trail-blazing approach.

This visionary will be greatly missed, but his work will live on and be admired and remembered for generations yet to come.  

3 comments:

  1. woodchuckgod9:56 AM

    Oh... no.... :(

    -sigh-

    ReplyDelete
  2. His art was magnificent and disturbing in all the ways he meant it to be.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I first became aware of Giger when my older brother purchased Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery album (which I'm listening to right now). Giger's artwork all that album's packaging.

    The album front featured a bio-mechanical skull. A circular cutout revealed human lips. The album front could then be opened to reveal a beautiful portrait of a woman with subtle bio-mechanical touches, especially in her hair.

    When I later read that Giger would be designing the creature in Alien, I could only imagine what the creature would turn out like. Like the true genius he was, the creature was even more fantastic and perverse than I could have imagined.

    Giger was an incredible artist who thankfully left a legacy of paintings in a style that was often repeated but never matched.

    ReplyDelete

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