H. R. Giger (H H. R. Giger)

H. R. Giger

Artist, Film Director.  A surrealist painter, sculptor and set designer, he is probably best remembered for his contributions to the special effects team that won a 1980 Academy Award for Best Achievement for Visual Effects for their design work on the 1979 science-fiction horror film “Alien,” for which he is credited with the design of the ‘Alien’ creature.  Born Hans Rudolf Giger, the son of a chemist, he moved to Zurich, Switzerland in 1962 to study architecture and industrial design at the School of Applied Arts.  He started with small ink drawings before progressing to oil paintings, and for most of his career, he worked predominantly in airbrush, creating monochromatic canvasses depicting surreal, nightmarish dreamscapes.  Later, he mostly abandoned large airbrush works in favor of works with pastels, markers or ink.  Influenced by artists Ernst Fuchs and Salvador Dali, his most distinctive stylistic innovation was that of a representation of human bodies and machines in a cold, interconnected relationship, that he termed as “biomechanical”.  In the 1960s and 1970s he directed a number of films, including “Swiss Made” (1968), “Tagtraum” (1973), “Giger’s Necronomicon” (1975) and “Giger’s Alien” (1979).  His other film credits include “Future-Kill” (1985, artwork for the movie poster), “Poltergeist II: The Other Side” (1986), “Aliens” (1986), “Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis” (1988), “Alien III” (1992), “Species” (1995), “Killer Condom” (1996), “Alien Resurrection” (1997), and “Prometheus” (2012).  He also contributed his artwork to recording artists, such as Celtic Frost, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Deborah Harry, and to the computer adventure games “Dark Seed” and its sequel, “Dark Seed II.”  In 2007, he and his work were subjects of a short documentary, “H.R. Giger’s Sanctuary,” which toured internationally and was released on DVD in May 2008.  In 2013 he was named to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.  He died at the age of 74 after suffering injuries in a fall. (bio by: William Bjornstad)


  • February, 05, 1940
  • Switzerland


  • May, 05, 2014
  • Switzerland


  • Cimetiere de Gruyeres
  • Fribourg
  • Switzerland

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