Swiss artist H.R. Giger has died at age 74 from injuries suffered during a fall. You thought he would die of old age? Nope. Giger was too hardcore for that. Among his many accomplishments was the Oscar he won for special effects in 1980, having designed the creatures and sets for Ridley Scott’s Alien. His style was especially iconic. Would Alien had been nearly as scary if the aliens had not been so terrifyingly naturalistic?
Giger dubbed this style of creature a “biomechanoid”, which swissinfo.ch explains:
Giger’s so-called biomechanoids represent a large share of his work. His representations of these creatures is a mixture of human and mechanical parts, with a strong focus on sexuality that can be disturbing for the viewer. These biomechanoids are to be seen in many of Giger’s paintings and drawings, but the theme is also common to his sculptures and furniture.
He also applied his unnerving style to other pop culture projects, including movies (Poltergeist 2 and Species), computer games (Dark Seed), and album covers. His cover art for Debbie Harry and ELP albums were voted among the top 100 album covers of all time.
Perhaps in passing H.R. Giger will get the full recognition he deserves in his home country of Switzerland, where his work was often ignored — and he was often denied federal grants — because he dabbled in pop culture projects.
Tip a 40 filled with viscous black mystery goo for H.R. Giger today, you guys.