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Academy Award winning art designer and artist H. R. Giger dead at 74

Swiss artist and filmmaker H. R. Giger passed away Monday from complications due to a fall, he was 74 years old. Best known for his surrealistic horror/science fiction inspired artwork, art designer for the Alien and Species film franchises along with designing album covers for musicians. Besides painting, Giger loved film and experimented with short subjects and documentaries. His artwork "Penis Landscape" which was worked into a Dead Kennedys album "Frankenchrist" caused a stir in 1985 which got the band and their leader Jello Biafra involved in an obscenity case.

Born Hans Rudolf Giger in Chur, Switzerland in 1940. Giger was the son of a chemist and wanted his son to study a "proper trade" instead of pursuing a career in fine art. But with his mother's support, Giger went to Zurich to study. His unique art work caused a stir amongst the locals due to its unique subject matter. He describes his technique as "biomechanical", the fusion of flesh and metal He designed album covers for such musicians as Deborah Harry, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Danzig and Carcass to name a few.

Giger was also an art designer and his intricate sketches and designs were used in films like "Alien" (which won him an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects) and it's sequels, Species, Poltergeist II and the never made Alejandro Jordorowsky's vision of "Dune" (which some of the sketches and designs were recycled in the 1984 version and in "Alien'. He also painted the poster for the low budget movie "Future-Kill" which was highly exploited when it hit the video stores. Giger once stated that many of his inspirations for his artwork came from dreams and nightmares. He would keep a drawing pad next to his bed and immediately sketch out the vision.

H. R. Giger was a one-of-a-kind artist. His unusual look at life has inspired and created thousands of copycats but there's only one. Thanks to Giger and his "biomechanical" subject matter, the art world will never be the same and the community has lost a unique visionary of dark creatures, man machines and hellish alien & earthly worlds.

To learn more about H. R. Giger, his work in art and movies please visit these sites

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