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All That I Love: Hans Ruedi Giger

All That I Love: Hans Ruedi Giger

Alien movie news, trailers and cast

Alien May 25th, 1979

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“You know, I think film-makers are always afraid to collaborate with artists like me, because they think we will cause them trouble. Whereas I just want to be creative.”

Discovering H.R. Giger has been one of the highlights of my life. My introduction to his stunning, nightmarish, monocromatic creations came via OMNI magazine, and his album artwork, most notably for ELP’S Brain Salad Surgery.

Manticore Records

At the time I was becoming more socially aware, and was at that tender and impressionable age when one seeks ‘a cause’ as a way of expressing a burgeoning social conscience. My cause became an anti-nuclear one. How could humans even contemplate the potential dangers of nuclear power plants, let alone the very real atrocity of actually dropping a bomb on another nation? My own artwork became greatly influenced by this.

Giger’s work, with its depiction of decay and deformity, flesh merged with the mechanical, spoke volumes to me. Most of all, there was a disturbing beauty which was captivating, yet repulsive all at once, and like no other. Giger made his first paintings as a means of art therapy and often said that he painted his own nightmares.

His work seemed to fuse Hieronymus Bosch’s visions, the surrealism of Salvador Dali, the abstract of Francis Bacon, the writing of H.P. Lovecraft, then transcended into some all-too-potential, bio-mechanoid future world, which affects and stays with you long after viewing.

H.R. Giger/Titan Books

I became mesmerised by his incredible depictions of the Alien, Space Jockey, Derelict and Planetoid for Ridley Scott’s ALIEN. I mean who else could have so successfully given birth to those beautiful air-brushed monsters, then transformed them, into what were to become icons of Science Fiction? The Alien comes second only to Godzilla himself. We only saw ‘it’ for a few seconds, but such is the power of the Space Jockey, that it remains a firm and beloved favourite of most ALIEN fans. Hand built by Giger!

H.R. Giger/Titan Books

Contrary to his work and his penchant for black clothing, Giger came across in interviews as a very nice, humble man, and as rather shy. Sometimes he would giggle when talking about himself and his work, almost as if he was embarrassed by the whole process. Hollywood, in particular, Fox/Brandywine, had no appreciation for his talent, and Academy Award aside, this led to his involvement with the movie business being for the most part, pretty unsatisfying.

H.R. Giger /Titan Books

Both Dan O'Bannon and Ridley Scott recognised just how groundbreaking his work was, and that it would be perfect when applied to a Science Fiction setting. Scott even told the producers that he would walk from directing ALIEN, unless they reconsidered their decision not to hire Giger. Scott also had the class to invite Giger to see the evolution of his original designs, by a new generation of artists on PROMETHEUS, and of course had him design the murals in the ampule/headroom. In my opinion, to recognise him in that way after the poor treatment he received post ALIEN, puts Ridley Scott head and shoulders above the Gilers and Hills of this world! After all, Giger was, and is, the Grand Architect of the Alien Universe.

H.R. Giger/Titan Books

In 2013 H.R. Giger was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, joining the likes of Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, George Lucas and Sir Ridley Scott.

ALIEN introduced Giger to the wider world. PROMETHEUS and hopefully, its sequel will introduce Giger to a new generation. As someone who has a tendency to get carried away on subjects I hold dear, I could write all day about why I admire all things Gigerverse, but I will end by saying this……

One day H.R. Giger will be looked upon by the many, not just the few, in the same light as Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Bosch, Blake, Picasso, Dali, and all of those greats that the art world holds in such high regard. Sadly, with his passing, the opportunity to meet him in person has gone. How many of us can say that we lived in the time of a great artist? WE DID, and that’s really something to celebrate and be eternally grateful for!

H.R. Giger/Titan Books

H.R. Giger/Titan Books

Manticore Records

 H.R. Giger/Titan Books

20th Century Fox/ Via dejanno.wordpress.com

20th Century Fox

All images via BuzzFeed




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