HR Giger – the creator of the monster from the Alien movies – has died at the age of 74.
The Swiss-born artist failed to recover from injuries caused by a recent fall down stairs at his Zurich home, SRF reports.
As well as his famous work on Ridley Scott’s film Alien – for which he won the Visual Effects Oscar in 1990 – Giger’s work was popular with a host of rock musicians.
Korn singer Jonathan Davis uses a microphone stand designed by Giger, while Giger’s painting Landscape XX was included as an insert in the artwork for the Dead Kennedys album Frankenchrist. The penis-laden poster was at the centre of an obscenity trial against Kennedys singer Jello Biafra.
More recently, Giger’s work graced the cover of two albums by Swiss extreme metal band Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones and Melana Chasmata. The band’s singer Tom G Warrior recently spoke exclusively to the Metal Hammer Magazine Show on TeamRock Radio, where he described Giger as a “genius”.
Warrior told the show, which can be heard in full below, he first approached Giger when he was in his early band, Hellhammer. He said: “We imagined that his cover art would be the perfect match to our music. At the time we were tiny, tiny little nobodies compared to his genius. But we still tried to convey the same aura that he conveyed in his paintings.
“I sat down in my bedroom and wrote a little shaky letter explaining all of that. I found him in the phonebook and sent it to him and thought I would never hear anything. A couple of weeks later he called me, which blew my mind, because everybody ignored us and laughed about us and there is this guy who has just won an Oscar and is at the peak of his fame and he actually took us seriously and became our mentor.”
Giger also provided the cover art for Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s 1973 album Brain Salad Surgery, as well as for Danzig’s Danzig III: How The Gods Kill and Carcass’ Heartwork.
Ibanez guitars produced the HR Giger signature model featuring his artwork and a number of Giger Bars have been built around the world, complete with his unique interior decoration.
His influence also cropped up on an ancient Abbey in Scotland. One of Paisley Abbey’s gargoyles takes the form of Giger’s Alien. It is thought a previous, crumbling gargoyle was replaced in 1990 and one of the stonemasons involved made the Alien lookalike as a tribute to Giger.