"Alien" designer H. R. Giger dies

May 13th, 2014

'Alien' designer H. R. Giger has died.

The Swiss surrealist artist passed away on Monday (12.05.14) at the age of 74 in hospital after falling down the stairs at his Zurich home, a spokesperson at the H.R. Giger Museum in Gruyères, Switzerland, has revealed.

Although already an acclaimed artist, Giger found fame when he designed the 'Xenomorph' extra-terrestrial for Sir Ridley Scott's acclaimed 1979 sci-fi movie.

The creature was based on his painting 'Necronom IV' and his work on the alien and other sets such as 'The Space Jockey' and 'The Derelict' earned him the rest of special effects team the 1980 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Giger's work was featured in the three subsequent 'Alien' films with him creating new designs for 'Alien 3'. Scott also got him to create original extraterrestrial murals for his prequel movie 'Prometheus', which was released in 2012.

In 2013, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in Seattle for his work on the iconic franchise.

Away from the big screen, the artist was famous for creating surrealist sculptures and paintings which usually depicted strange dreamscapes featuring humans and machines fused together or engaged in sexual activity, a style Giger referred to as ''biomechanical''.

Giger's work was also used for a number of album covers including Blondie singer Debbie Harry's solo album 'Koo Koo'.

A poster he created for the inside of the album sleeve of The Dead Kennedys' LP 'Frankenchrist' - which showed rows of human genitalia engaged in sex - led to the group's frontman Eric Reed Boucher being tried in 1986 for distributing harmful material to children in 1986, however, the case was dismissed.

Giger is survived by his wife Carmen Maria Scheifele Giger, who runs his museum.