The Biomechanical Dreamscapes of HR Giger

When that macabre unearthly creature came out in 1979, its creator, Swiss surrealistic artist H.R. Giger, […] Read more

When that macabre unearthly creature came out in 1979, its creator, Swiss surrealistic artist H.R. Giger, has become internationally notorious as Alien. His visual style, which mixes gothic decay with serpentine futurism, has left a deep frightening impression on anyone who experienced it in the sci-fi classic.

Giger’s most famous book, Necronomicon, served as the visual inspiration for Ridley Scott’s classic thriller Alien (1979), which earned him the Oscar for the Best Achievement in Visual Effects for his designs of the “xenomorph” creature and the extraterrestrial environment. Compared to the great German expressionistic films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) and Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922), Scott regards Giger’s work on Alien equaled on the sense of originality and vision. Much like the masterpieces of Hieronymus Bosch and Francis Bacon, the intensity of Giger’s art and imagination shares the same power to provoke and disturb, as it digs down into human psyches and touches our very deepest primal instincts and fears.

His high-profile film assignment can also be seen in many well-known thrillers including Poltergeist II (1986), Alien3 (1992), Species (1995) and Prometheus (2012), as well as the legendary unmade film, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune. It’s a pity his lobster-claw-shaped Batmobile for Batman Forever (1995) never became reality, as it was replaced by a more conservative design.

Beyond the multimillion-dollar Hollywood franchises, Giger also has a powerful effect on visual culture in entirely different arenas. A director himself, he has produced a number of experimental films including The Second Celebration of the Four (1977) and Tagtraum (1973). He also rocked with avant-garde musicians like Debbie Harry and Dead Kennedys in album cover design and MV production, challenging the boundaries of creative freedom.

Passed away in 2014, Giger left behind a trail of images that linger in our mind like the never-dying Alien, with his artistic vision that will continue to inspire the wildest imagination.

“The Biomechanical Dreamscapes of HR Giger” is co-presented by

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