The film community is still reeling after the tragic news that Swiss surrealist artist H.R. Giger passed away. Famous for his terrifying artworks featuring biomechanical creatures blended with tortured human forms, Giger first stunned the cinematic community and audiences when his work appeared in Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien. The Giger family recently posted a brief mention about the artist’s involvement with the project on Giger’s website:
In a career with so many star-studded highlights, it is only natural that many have mentioned his world famous brainchild, ALIEN, since the news broke this morning. It was certainly a creation which Giger prized, much as he took great pride in his collaboration with myriads of music industry and film artists, since he began his glorious journey as a world class painter, sculptor and designer.
His stunning work for the film included the creation of Scott’s eponymous Alien, which was so frightening that even screenwriter Dan O’Bannon found himself cringing: “His paintings had a profound effect on me. I had never seen anything that was quite as horrible and at the same time as beautiful as his work. And so I ended up writing a script about a Giger monster." Studio 20th Century Fox believed Giger’s concept art was too chilling for the mainstream, but Scott’s team fought to include it in the movie. Eventually, Giger was hired to design the creatures (including the creepy Alien eggs), the surface of the planet, and the broken-down spacecraft. He meticulously airbrushed the "space jockey" set by hand.
BuzzFeed shared some of Giger’s concept artwork for Alien, which appeared in Titan Books' The Book of Alien. In its own way, the 2D images are even scarier than the actual film. Scott’s movie plays with shadow and sound and sets out to horrify us with the things we don’t see. Giger’s images confront us directly.
See more of Giger’s nightmarish visions over here.
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