Swiss surrealist painter, sculptor and set designer H.R. Giger has passed away at the age of 74. 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 Alien film franchise. He was named to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2013.
Born Hans Rudolf in the eastern Swiss town of Chur in 1940, died on Monday in Zurich from injuries he obtained after suffering a fall. The son of a chemist, he studied architecture and industrial design in Zurich, and first experimented with ink drawing and polyester works before moving onto large freehand airbrush works showcasing nightmarish dreamscapes. His work explored the relationship between the human body and the machine, and he created surrealist images of humans fused with industrial parts, a style he described as “biomechanical”. In 1975, Giger endured tragedy when his partner Swiss actress and Li Tobler, who served as a model in several of his works, committed suicide. He married Mia Bonzanigo in 1982 but the couple later divorced.
Giger was also known for his sculptures, paintings and furniture and many of these works are on display at his own museum in a medieval castle in Gruyeres, central Switzerland, which is run by his second wife Carmen Maria Scheifele Giger. His designs has also been showcased for many musical artists like Danzig, Emerson, Lake & Palmer & Ibanez guitars.
Hans Rudolf “Ruedi” Giger (5 February 1940 – 12 May 2014)