back to article The weird and wonderful mind of H.R Giger is no more

Hans Rudolf Giger, the Swiss artist and designer who scared a generation of movie-goers witless with his Alien creations, has died at the age of 74 after a falling accident at his Swiss home. HR Giger on the set of Alien Giger on the set of Alien It's a fair bet that a sizable proportion of El Reg's readership have some of …

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unique

A rare mix of the surreal, beautiful and disturbing, sad to hear his passing.

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Holmes

Re: unique

Didcha know that the Swiss border police impounded and destroyed some of his paintings he had in the trunk of his car because they, IIRC, "photography related to child pornography"?

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Re: unique

To clarify Destroy All Monsters's point, Giger's use of the airbrush (usually used for rendering shiny shiny new things like cars in advertising) lent the images a photo-realistic appearance. The security guards assumed the images had to be photographs.

Giger was puzzled as to where he was supposed to have taken such photographs.

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Magic of the movies

The first photo of Giger hugging an egg in the alien ship's hold ghasts my flabber something chronic - watching John Hurt amid the eggs I knew that at some point a matt painting took over but I hadn't guessed that the point was "the egg behind him". Nothing like a little fog, some good lighting, a fine director, and of course a fabulous piece of graphic design that meant (like any magic trick) my horrified attention was held firmly where it was meant to be.

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Anonymous Coward

Brain salad surgery

Best album cover ever. Pretty good record too. But what a mind and what an artist. RIP Mr Giger and my condolences to your family.

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Re: Brain salad surgery

Yep, Brain Salad Surgery was my introduction to Giger. I was amazed to find out some years later that Giger's monstrosities come from his own NIGHTMARES! I don't know that I'd ever sleep.

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Re: Brain salad surgery

Did they ever recover the stolen original artwork for the album covers?

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Re: Pretty good record too

Benny The Bouncer should have stayed on the cutting room floor. But otherwise, yes.

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Alien

He "fell", eh??

I remind you all that there are usually a couple "accidental" deaths in Alien movies, and then the Aliens' hand is shown. Well Mr. Geiger, I'm glad that you died before implantation was complete, you will be missed.

Now where did I leave my 10 mm automtic pulse rifle with over-and-under-barrel grenade launchers...

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Re died before implantation was complete

Are you sure? Do you really think they'd let you know if he died because his chest busted?

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Wow.

I must be getting old. So many influences from my yoof are dying off.

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Re: Wow.

Yes, I've noticed this too.

Interestingly an older friend said said to me when I turned forty "you're now entering the period of your life when people you know die". I see what he meant now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wow.

lmao!, wait till you reach 50, that's when the junk mail for funeral plans start coming through the letter box!!!

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Re: Wow.

You are getting old when you think police officers are getting too young.

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Re: Wow.

My wife just uttered the phrase "They don't make 'em like they used to."

Is it time to order the Thora Hird Stairlift?

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Certainly iconic and without doubt he left his mark on the world. RIP

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Unhappy

Adieu, great artist.

The world will be more mundane without your vision.

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So sad.

Giger and Beksinski were my favorite absurdists.

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Re: So sad.

Doubleplussupergood for Beksinski.

He's even more disturbing than Giger. Because he's actually doing 3-D imagery, I think.

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Re: So sad.

Sad indeed.

Thankfully we still have Jan Švankmajer.

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Windows

RIP

The term visionary is often overused, except in the case of Herr Giger. Nuff said.

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Giger museum

His museum is definitely worth visiting. It's only a shame that he was greatly disregarded in the art world of his home country - not a single exhibition in one of the major museums in Switzerland (if that didn't change in recent years).

In a former life I used to be very close to his home. One can only hope someone turns his terrace house into another museum (Carmen might have a say in that...). It's a truly amazing place, both the interior and the garden, and should be preserved not as a "shrine" but as a piece of art.

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Re: Giger museum

To be honest, I find that the museum renders an otherwise charming place (Gruyeres) rather grim.

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Re: Giger museum

Benjol, you're right, the contrast between Gruyeres and the museum is quite extreme.

I'd recommend to visit the museum on a dark, rainy winter day...

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MJI
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RIP

Some fantastic art.

The superb direction and fantastic design of Alien makes it an all time classic.

He will always be remembered for it, but as an epitaph, it is good.

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Also need to mention the great scriptwriting on Alien - I love the way that it essentially reworks Dark Star but done for horror rather than for laughs.

If you're going to remake a movie *that's* how you do it.

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Script

Pretty sure that was Dan O'Bannon, father of the producer of Farscape

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Script

Ahhh. Thanks for pointing that out; in spite of the obvious, that penny had never quite dropped.

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Sad news.

Reminds me of the old Amiga game, Dark Seed

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Giger

His abominations were the work of genius

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Dune influence

Giger do not seem to have influenced Lynch's Dune film much, if at all. Giger did, however, make a lot of concept art for Jodorowsky's (sadly uncompleted) Dune project, in particular designs for the Harkonnen palace and also some designs for another uncompleted Dune adaptation by DIno de Laurentis.

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Meh

origin of Alien beastie

I understood from some TV show that the beast was partly inspired by a small life form from deep ocean greatly enlarged. As for surrealism, isn't that what we have experts and pollies for ?

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jai
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very sad

There's not many people that have certainly touch so many people, but he was definitely one of them.

Such a shame. He will be missed.

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After seeing Alien when it first came out...

...an evening of film then diner with the GF turned into head for the first bar and a couple (lots) of stiff drinks, neither of us felt like eating that night. Really scary stuff back then.

Before the film used to have Giger's coffee table book Necronomicon which had to be put away when friends with sprogs visited. Disturbing imagery but brilliantly done. Wonder where that disappeared to?

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Devil

Re: After seeing Alien when it first came out...

If you haven't figured out that the sprogs found that book and took it by now.....well, you don't remember being a sprog.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: After seeing Alien when it first came out...

Someone lent me that book when I was at college, and the work simply blew me away. Considering the inane drivel that occupies so many modern gallery walls, I have never understood why work like Gigers never seemed to gain the far wider audience and exposure it deserves in its own right, not just as set design - although its not exactly uncommon to end up a bit 'niche' if your work has the merest whiff of sci-fi to it.

Those that knew his work though were hugely influenced by it; you see it in particular in a lot of the photography based photoshop work from the 90s, and even in earlier stuff produced with its pricey predecessor, the Quantel Paintbox.

R.I.P. to another genuine icon.

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Bah!

And the world is smaller again.

I remember during the run-up to Alien an article/interview on Giger in an early OMNI magazine in which it was disclosed that a piece of set graffiti read "Giger writes nice things on lavatory walls".

It seems the workforce was freaked out by a lot more than his black attire, and who can blame them? Working among those nightmare forms would give anyone the heebie-jeebies.

RIP Giger. If not for you there would have been no Alien worth the name.

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