The world of science fiction has suffered a terrible loss today with the death of iconic Swiss artist H.R. Giger. According to reports, Giger passed away in Zurich after suffering injuries sustained in a fall at his home; he was 74.
Known for his distinctive “biomechanical” style of design and painting, Hans Rudolf “Ruedi” Giger was an internationally acclaimed surrealist whose work has inspired several generations of science fiction fans, writers, artists, and filmmakers. Perhaps best known for designing the titular alien in director Ridley Scott’s Alien—a design based on his painting Necronom IV—Giger won an Oscar for his work on the film in 1980.
His art is both endlessly inventive and instantly recognizable, interweaving the fantastic and the macabre, making dark and nightmarish elements into something inexpressibly beautiful, appearing everywhere from Omni magazine to books of paintings (including the classic Necronomicon and Necronomicon II) to countless movies, interior design, album cover art, and video games. He has directly influenced the work of directors like Scott, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and David Lynch as well as authors such as William Gibson, and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame last year in Seattle, along with David Bowie and J.R.R. Tolkien. Giger was a visionary whose loss will be felt in all corners of the science fiction world, while his sinuous, powerfully evocative images and creative influence will continue to inspire our imaginations for many years to come.