H. R. Giger
|H. R. Giger|
HR Giger in 2012
|Birth name||Hans Rudolf Giger|
5 February 1940 |
Chur, Graubünden Canton, Switzerland
|Field||painting, sculpting, set design, movie directing|
|Movement||Science fiction, Fantasy, Occult, Macabre|
|Influenced by||Ernst Fuchs, Salvador Dalí, Alfred Kubin|
Hans Rudolf "Ruedi" Giger (pron.: //; born 5 February 1940) 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.
Life and career 
Giger was born in Chur, Graubünden Canton, Switzerland, the son of a chemist. He spoke of a father who viewed art as a "breadless profession", and strongly encouraged his son to enter into pharmaceutics. Despite this, in 1962, he moved to Zürich, 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 records.
Giger got his start with small ink drawings before progressing to oil paintings. For most of his career, Giger has worked predominantly in airbrush, creating monochromatic canvasses depicting surreal, nightmarish dreamscapes. However, he has now largely abandoned large airbrush works in favor of works with pastels, markers or ink.
His most distinctive stylistic innovation is that of a representation of human bodies and machines in a cold, interconnected relationship, he described as "biomechanical". His paintings often display fetishistic sexual imagery[clarification needed]. His main influences were painters Ernst Fuchs and Salvador Dalí. He met Salvador Dalí, to whom he was introduced by painter Robert Venosa. He was also a personal friend of Timothy Leary. Giger suffers from night terrors and his paintings are all to some extent inspired by his experiences with that particular sleep disorder. He studied interior and industrial design at the School of Commercial Art in Zurich (from 1962 to 1965) and made his first paintings as a means of art therapy.
In 2007, Giger and his work were subjects of a 19-minute documentary, H.R. Giger's Sanctuary, which toured internationally and was released on DVD in May 2008.
Other works 
In the 1960s and 1970s, Giger directed a number of films, including Swiss Made (1968), Tagtraum (1973), Giger's Necronomicon (1975) and Giger's Alien (1979).
Giger has created furniture designs, particularly the Harkonnen Capo Chair for a movie of the novel Dune that was to be directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Many years later, David Lynch directed the film, using only rough concepts by Giger. Giger had wished to work with Lynch, as he states in one of his books that Lynch's film Eraserhead was closer than even Giger's own films to realizing his vision.
Giger has applied his biomechanical style to interior design. One "Giger Bar" sprang up in Tokyo, but the realization of his designs were a great disappointment to the artist, since the Japanese organization behind the venture did not wait for his final designs, but decided to move ahead with nothing more than Giger's rough preliminary sketches. For that reason, Giger disowned the Tokyo Giger Bar and never set foot inside. Within a few years, the establishment was out of business. The two Giger Bars in his native Switzerland (in Gruyères and Chur), however, were built under Giger's close personal supervision and reflect his original concepts for them accurately. At The Limelight in Manhattan, Giger's artwork was licensed to decorate the VIP room, the uppermost chapel of the landmarked church, but it was never intended to be a permanent installation and bore no similarity to the real Giger Bars in Switzerland. The arrangement was terminated after two years when the Limelight closed its doors. As of 2009 only the two authentic Swiss Giger Bars remain.
His art has greatly influenced tattooists and fetishists worldwide. Under a licensing deal Ibanez guitars released an H. R. Giger signature series: the Ibanez ICHRG2, an Ibanez Iceman, features "NY City VI", the Ibanez RGTHRG1 has "NY City XI" printed on it, the S Series SHRG1Z has a metal-coated engraving of "Biomechanical Matrix" on it, and a 4-string SRX bass, SRXHRG1, has "N.Y. City X" on it.
Giger is often referred to in pop culture, especially in science fiction and cyberpunk. William Gibson (who wrote an early script for Alien 3) seems particularly fascinated: a minor character in Virtual Light, Lowell, is described as having New York XXIV tattooed across his back, and in Idoru a secondary character, Yamazaki, describes the buildings of nanotech Japan as Giger-esque.
- Dune (designs for unproduced Alejandro Jodorowsky adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel; the movie Dune was later made in an adaptation by David Lynch.)
- Alien (designed, among other things, the Alien itself, "The Derelict" and the "Space Jockey")
- Alien 3 (designed the dog-like Alien bodyshape, plus a number of unused concepts, many mentioned on the special features disc of Alien 3)
- Alien Resurrection
- Poltergeist II: The Other Side
- Killer Condom
- Species (designed Sil and the Ghost train in a dream sequence)
- Batman Forever (designed radically different envisioning of the Batmobile; design not used in the film)
- Future-Kill (designed artwork for the movie poster)
- Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis (creature designs)
- Prometheus (the film includes "The Derelict" spacecraft and the "Space Jockey" designs from the first Alien film, as well as original extraterrestrial murals created exclusively for the new movie. Unlike Alien Resurrection the film credited H. R. Giger with the original designs.)
Work for recording artists 
- Celtic Frost: To Mega Therion
- Magma: Attahk
- Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Brain Salad Surgery (1973)
- Steve Stevens' Atomic Playboys
- Mylène Farmer: Mylenium Tour (1999, sculpture of Isis on stage)
- Deborah Harry, portraits for Koo Koo album cover and videos "Backfired" and "Now I Know You Know" (1981)
- Clepsydra: Hologram (1991, holographed sculpture for the cover)
- hide: Hide Your Face
- Carcass: Heartwork
- Danzig: Danzig III: How the Gods Kill
- Dead Kennedys' album Frankenchrist, Poster insert of Landscape XX (which led to an obscenity trial)
- Atrocity – Hallucinations
- Black Sun Productions
- Island: Pictures
- SHINE - Inthecentre (1996, tonal composititions of HR Giger pictures by Schahram Poursoudmand / Lichtschrei)
- Korn's Jonathan Davis commissioned Giger to design and sculpt a microphone stand, with the requirement that it be biomechanical, erotic, and movable. The contract allowed for five aluminium microphone stands to be made, but Davis purchased only two of the three he was entitled to. The design of the microphone stand was later adapted to Giger's "Nubian Queen" transforming it into a fine art sculpture.
- Designed the stage for Mylène Farmer's 1999 "Mylenium" tour.
- Blondie's Chris Stein commissioned Lieber Guitars to create Stein's unique "Gigerstein" guitar based roughly on Giger's artwork, but without Giger's direct involvement.
- Helped to design the first professional video clip of "Böhse Onkelz" called "Dunkler Ort" (dark location) from their album "Ein böses Märchen...aus tausend finsteren Nächten", which was released in 2000.
- Ibanez Guitars has released second generation of H. R. Giger Signature Models hr giger RG & hr giger S series with legacy artwork on the guitar body, second generation of 4-string guitar bass SRXHRG1 also released with the same concept.
- Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones
Interior decoration 
- Giger Bars in Switzerland's Chur and Gruyères
- Maison d'Ailleurs (House of Elsewhere) in Yverdon-Les-Bains
- Museum H. R. Giger in Gruyères
Computer games 
- Dark Seed and its sequel, Dark Seed II, both adventure games for the Amiga, Amiga CD32, Macintosh and the PC, were published by Cyberdreams. The games were also released for the PlayStation and Saturn in Japan.
- Out of this world, by Samantha Warwick, The Guardian, 29 April 2006. Retrieved Jun 18, 2009.
- The 52nd Academy Awards (1980) Nominees and Winners, Oscars.org
- Hans Ruedi Giger, HR Giger ARh+, tr. Karen Williams, Taschen, 1993, ISBN 978-3-8228-9642-6
- Gary Singh, "Giger Harvest", Silicon Alleys, Metro Silicon Valley, July 8–14, 2009, p. 8
- "H.R. Giger's Sanctuary | 2007 Palm Springs Festival of Short Films | Nick Brandestini | Steve Ellington | Switzerland". Psfilmfest.org. 2007-08-15. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
- Sheldon Teitelbaum, "Giger's Necronomicon Imagery Comes Alive on the Screen", Cinefantastique vol. 18 no. 4, May 1988, http://www.littlegiger.com/articles/files/Cinefantastique_18_04.pdf p. 13 (PDF) viewed July 9, 2009
- Frank X. Owen, Clubland: The Fabulous Rise and Murderous Fall of Club Culture, New York: St. Martin's, 2003, p. 269.
- "Interview: Ridley Scott Talks Prometheus, Giger, Beginning of Man and Original Alien". Filmophilia. December 17, 2011. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
- Prog Archives – Island Pictures
- HR Giger. Taschen. 2002. p. 114. ISBN 3-8228-1723-6.
- [dead link]
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: H.R. Giger|
- Official website
- H. R. Giger at the Internet Movie Database
- Innamoramento.net : H.R. Giger Interview (French)
- Issue of Cinefantastique devoted to Giger (PDF)