Hans Rudolf 'Ruedi' Giger is a Swiss surrealist painter, sculptor, and set designer. He was part of the special effects team that won an Academy Award for Best Achievement for Visual Effects for their design work on the film Alien.
The artist at work
Giger was born in 1940 in Chur, capital city of GraubÃ¼nden, the largest and easternmost Swiss canton. His father, a chemist, viewed art as a "breadless profession" and strongly encouraged him to enter pharmaceutics, Giger recalls. Yet he moved in 1962 to ZÃ¼rich, where he studied Architecture and industrial design at the School of Applied Arts until 1970. Giger had a relationship with Swiss actress Li Tobler until she committed suicide in 1975. He married Mia Bonzanigo in 1979; they separated a year and a half later.
Giger's style and thematic execution have been influential. His design for the Alien was inspired by his painting Necronom IV and earned him an Oscar in 1980. His books of paintings, particularly Necronomicon and Necronomicon II (1985) and the frequent appearance of his art in Omni magazine continued his rise to international prominence. Giger is also well known for artwork on several music recording albums.
In 1998 Giger acquired the ChÃ¢teau St. Germain in GruyÃ¨res, Switzerland, and it now houses the H. R. Giger Museum, a permanent repository of his work.
Here are some examples of his work:
Painting Li I, 1974 | Photo credit: Roland Gretler | HR Giger 2011