Sad news this morning: The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Legendary conceptual and graphic artist H.R. Giger has died in his native Switzerland at the age of 74, following injuries sustained from a fall. Giger is best known for his Oscar-winning design of the titular creature in Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece Alien.
Giger’s macabre and sexual artwork melded the organic with the synthetic to create disturbing and hauntingly beautiful pieces over his long career, including the famous xenomorph and the Space Jockey, as well as the alien worlds that have become a staple of the Alien films and most recently 2012’s Prometheus, for which Giger’s original designs were the main inspiration. Species as well bears Giger’s distinctive mark. He is one of the forefathers of visual representations of Cyberpunk.
Most recently, Giger contributed to the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, about the ultimately failed attempt by director Alejandro Jodorowsky to adapt Frank Herbert’s “unfilmable” novel Dune into what would have been a massive-budget sci-fi dream. Giger was one of the main designers for that project and it was from this that he met Dan O’Bannon, who went on to write Alien. In the video below, from one of the DVD special features of Alien, Giger and others talk about his amazing work.
Giger’s work is celebrated in the H.R. Giger Museum in Gruyeres, Western Switzerland. Science fiction art would not be the same without him. He will certainly be missed.