I was saddened to learn that Swiss artist, sculptor and set designer Hans Rudolf Giger has passed away due to injuries from falling down the stairs at his home. He was 74 years old.
Famous for biomechanical vistas and surrealist sexual nightmares, I became familiar – like many others – via his iconic design of the alien creature from Ridley Scott’s 1979 film. It’s safe to say that the whole mythos, of which I’m an enormous fan, would never have been so powerful without his vision.
Personal favourites are tough to choose from a man with such a rich back catalogue, as I discovered when pondering a Giger tattoo. Whittling it down to a couple, I love Satan I: one of his enigmatic but religiously themed peices that graced the cover of a Celtic Frost album. Anti-establishment? Profane? Let all be the judge.
I’m also particularly fond of his haunting homage to Böcklin’s “Isle of the Dead” which captured my morbid imagination as a kid. The menacing calm and alluring darkness always draws me back, and it has since overlooked my writing desk for the last 15 years, testament to his ability to inspire.
His work not only speaks to visual artists, but also writers, musicians and countless others. Rarely is someone so missed in such a range of fields, and he leaves an amazing legacy. Not to mention the coolest pub in the the entire world (The Museum, Gruyères, Switzerland)
This is a sad day for the world of the macabre and surreal, and my thoughts go out to his family and friends.