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Creator of classic Alien design, H.R. Giger, has passed away at age 74

05.13.2014

Sandra Mivelaz, administrator at the H.R. Giger museum in Gruyeres, Switzerland, informed the associated press that artist H.R. Giger died in a hospital on Monday at age 74, due to injuries suffered in a fall.  The artist was famous for mixing man and machine in his work, and had a visual style that was instantly recognizable.  No small feat, considering the field he worked in.  He eventually worked on several album covers (Brain Salad Surgery for Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, and Koo Koo for Debbie Harry), as well as contributing his unique artistic style to the world of film.

The man contributed to the likes of POLTERGEIST II and SPECIES, but it was his conceptual design of the alien in Ridley Scott's ALIEN that not only launched the fear factor up to dizzying heights, but also embedded in the minds of moviegoers a monster that you coud not just put away.  I wholeheartedly believe this was key in the film's success (the movie won the Academy Award for Best Special Effects), and the reason why film studios are still pushing for Alien sequels to be made, more than 30 years after the source material hit cinemas.  Original design elements from H.R. Giger were more recently used in Ridley Scott's PROMETHEUS as well.  Regardless of how you feel about the end result, the design felt authentic.

I think we all want to leave some mark on this world, and Giger's mark was big enough to implant itself in dreams and nightmares for years to come. I'd like to think Giger would be okay with that. I certainly am.

Extra Tidbit: Did you know that H.R. Giger suffered from night terrors? He kept an artist's pad near his bed to draw out his nightmares, and much like how the Terminator was born through a nightmare of James Cameron's, the Alien was born through a nightmare of Giger's.
Source: ABC

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