Swiss-born artist Hans Rudolf Giger, who is often thought to be greatly influenced by the venerable author H.P. Lovecraft, remains the stuff of legend. Giger died on May 12, 2014, at age 74. Primarily known for his unique painting styles of surrealism in a stark “biomechanical” existence where the gap between (wo)man and machine is bridged in a world of darkness, Giger’s work on the first Alien movie earned him an Oscar in 1980. It is widely acknowledged that without Giger’s art and influential style, Ridley Scott’s Alien world would not have the impact it still does, even today, for generation-spanning films like Prometheus.
Celebrities take great joy in dishing out major bucks for unique pieces of furniture with Giger’s own designs, things that cost astronomical amounts but are forever distinctively Giger. The Harkonnen Capo Chair, designed for the shooting of Jodorowsky’s Dune, was never even actually used. Jonathon Davis, lead singer of Korn, boasts a microphone stand designed by Giger, aptly named “The Bitch”. Ibanez Guitars released a signature Giger series of guitars, featuring an engraving of Giger’s “Biomechanical Matrix” on it. He’s designed artwork for singing and performing artists of many stripes – Magma, Danzig, Debbie Harry (imagine!), Dead Kenneys, Atrocity, Mylene Farmer, and Tryptikon, to name just a few. Even Giger-themed bars, with the scary lighting and “I’m inside Aliens!” interior decor, have popped up in Switzerland’s Chur and Gruyeres, and the House of Elsewhere in Yverdon-les-Baines. Also, Giger’s influence on the world of tattoos, with the fusion of “biomechanics”, making its own singular niche for tattoo artists and enthusiasts all.
“The greatest compliment is when people get tattooed with my work, whether it’s well done or not,” Giger told Seconds Magazine in 1994. “To wear something like that your whole life is the greatest compliment someone can pay you as an artist.”
H.R. Giger apparently sustained injuries from a fall, and passed away May 12th, 2014. Giger is survived by his wife, Carmen Maria Scheifele Giger, who is the director of the H.R. Giger Museum, housed permanently in the Chateau St. Germain of Gruyeres, Switzerland.