Archive for Artists

H. R. Giger

Posted in Arts, Entertainment, Science Fiction with tags , , on 02/13/2009 by milkywayfarer

Dark-Eyed Demon Dreamer

(Originally published in Eye on the Web)

By Susan Chandler Kelley

Copyright 1999-2009;
do not reprint without permission

Born in Switzerland on February 5, 1940, H. R. (Hans Ruedi) Giger attended art schools 1953-1965. He delves into the dream world to depict the ‘dark side,’ that Jungian jungle of human nature’s nightmare netherworld. His repellent reptilian biomech creatures slither into our psyches (or psychoses). These shadow plays of our darkest fears burrow into the subconscious more inextricably than the macabre, metallic sinews of his creations.

“He is our latter-day Hieronymus Bosch, the Dutch fabulist come again, demonic and erotic,” says sci-fi author Harlan Ellison. These ‘brothers grim,’ Swiss Giger and Dutchman Bosch, share similar dangerous, demonic visions. Giger’s gruesome creatures provide a cutting cultural counterpoint to his contemporary, fellow fantasist Michael Whelan. Whelan’s angelic figures languor in light drenched fairy scenes; Giger’s nightmare demons dwell in darkest depths.

Giger first made acquaintance with the surreal at age five. His father, a chemist, received a human skull, which first fired his son’s imagination. Young Giger found it fascinating to possess the skull of someone who had once been alive. Skulls and skeletal figures still predominate Giger’s work.

He draws on all experience for inspiration, but as a follower of Jung, he often draws on the dream state for ideas. Originator of the Biomechanical Style, Giger’s creatures sport steely sinews and meld organic, humanoid shapes with mechanical apparatus.

Most people know Giger best as the designer of the horrific creature of the 1977 Academy Award winning science fiction movie, Alien. The nightmarish creature of Alien was actually inspired by one of Giger’s original creations, included in a 1978 publication of a collection of his works, “Giger’s Necronomicon.” The writings of early 20th century author H.P. Lovecraft, another weaver of weird nightmare creatures, gave Giger the title for this publication.

Probably best known for his fantasy paintings and Aliens creatures, Giger has also created other notable art, particularly album covers, such as ‘Brain Salad Surgery’ for Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Yet he manages many media, including furniture design, not to mention designing the ‘Giger bars’ in Tokyo and Switzerland. Giger ranks as a true multi-media artist. In addition to his paintings, sketches, Alien film designs and album covers, he has also designed sculpture, a Swatch watch project called Watch Abart and a movie, ‘The Mystery of San Gottardo’.

Interesting sites devoted to H. R. Giger:

Official WebSite of H.R. Giger:

Official WebSite of H.R. Giger – Fan page:

Shadowland – Info/Images:

Little Giger Page:

H. R. Giger Museum:

Giger Chat Room:

System 75 Giger Gallery:

Pictures of Giger artwork:

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