Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Swiss artist H. R. Giger dies at the age of 74
The renowned Swiss artist H. R. Giger, passed away yesterday in a hospital located in Zurich due to injuries sustained in a fall. He was 74 years old.
Hans Rudolf Giger was a surrealist painter, sculptor and set designer. He was widely known for his creatures and sets created for Ridley Scott's Alien films. As a result, he was awarded with an Oscar for special effects in 1980.
Giger also contributed with his work for Poltergeist II - The Other Side, Tokyo - The Last Megalopolis, among several other films, as well for the computer game Dark Seed (1995).
He also did some work for recording artists and colaborated with Ibanez Guitars for the H. R. Giger Signature Models.
Born in 1940, Giger moved to Zurich in1962 where he studied interior and industrial design at the School of Commercial Art in Zurich (from 1962 to 1965).
He had a relationship with Swiss actress Li Tobler untill 1975, when she commited suicide. In 1979 he married Mia Bonzanigo, but the divorced a year and a half later.
The work of the American horror fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft had great influence on H. R. Giger's art. Such is this that his compendium of images Necronomicon (there's a version with an introduction by Clive Barker) is a clear refererence to Lovecraft's made up book with the same name.
The original signed book is housed in the H R Giger museum at the Château St. Germain in Gruyères Switzerland.
Ernst Fuchs and Salvador Dali, to whom he was introduced by painter Robert Venosa were inspirations sources for Gigger who was also a personal friend of Timothy Lear.
Giger started with small ink drawings, then progessed to oil painting. During his career, he worked predominantly in airbush, but also created works with pastels, markers and ink.
Much of his work depicts surreal and monochromatic dreamscapes, often with biomechanical human bodies interconnected with a mechanical world as well as alien species and nightmarish elements. Several erotic references can also be found in his works.
The H. R. Giger Museum, housed in the Château St. Germain in Gruyère, Switzerland, holds a permanent repository of his work. The artist lived and worked in Zürich with his wife, Carmen Maria Scheifele Giger, who is the Director of the museum.