Born on February 5, 1940 in Chur, Switzerland, Hans Rudolf “Ruedi” Giger (HR Giger) was a surrealist painter, sculptor, and set designer. Giger’s fascination with all things surreal and macabre began at a young age and this led to an interest in expressing himself through visual arts. Following high school, Giger studied architecture and industrial design at Zurich’s School of Applied Arts.
In 1966 Giger worked as an interior designer and completed some early paintings. In 1968 he began working full time as an artist and a filmmaker. The following year his first posters were published and he had his first exhibitions outside of Zurich.
“Giger’s most distinctive stylistic innovation is the representation of human bodies and machines in a cold, interconnected relationship, described as “biomechanical”. His paintings often display fetishistic sexual imagery.”
Meticulously detailed, Giger’s paintings are usually produced in large formats and then reworked. Giger’s popular art book, Necronominicon, caught the eye of director Ridley Scott who was looking for a creature for his soon to be produced film Alien. Giger’s designs for the film earned him an Academy Award in 1980.
Giger began work on The H.R. Giger Museum in the mid 1990s in the fortress structure of the Château St. Germain, a medieval castle in Gruyere, Switzerland. The museum holds Giger’s personal collection of art from around the world, as well as a substantial collection of his own paintings and sculptures.
Aside from the Alien movies, Giger has worked on numerous films including Dune, Poltergeist II, Species, and others. He has worked with recording artists including Blondie, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, Korn, and has created signature models for Ibanez Guitars. His work in interior design includes the HRGigerMuseum and the Giger Bars in Switzerland. Giger’s work has been exhibited in galleries around the world.
H.R. Giger, passed away in May 2014 at the age of 74.