HR Giger's Surreal Creatures Will Haunt & Hunt You

© Carmen Giger (HR Giger Estate) / p. 134–136 The Spell II, 1974 Acrylic and India ink on paper on wood
© Carmen Giger (HR Giger Estate) / p. 134–136 The Spell II, 1974 Acrylic and India ink on paper on wood
Photo of Rachel Gould
Art & Design Editor12 July 2017

Sci-fi meets hair-raising horror in Swiss artist HR Giger’s surreal worlds, enveloped by menacing darkness and inhabited by threatening hybrid creatures that are part alien, part machine, and entirely bone-chilling.

p. 220/221 Erotomechanics VII (Mia und Judith, first state), 1979 Acrylic and India ink on paper | © Carmen Giger (HR Giger Estate). p. 220/221. Erotomechanics VII (Mia und Judith, first state), 1979. Acrylic and India ink on paper.

HR Giger petrified audiences around the world when he brought his infamous Alien to life in Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning film. But even without animation, Giger’s quietly haunting artworks merge ancient folklore and futuristic disturbia to create a unique brand of insidious terror.

“At its essence, Giger’s art digs down into our psyches and touches our very deepest primal instincts and fears,” says Ridley Scott. “His art stands in a category of its own. The proof of this lies in the intensity of his work and imagination, which I can only compare to Hieronymus Bosch and Francis Bacon in their powers to provoke and disturb.”

From pastels to film, album art to interior design, Giger’s cult aesthetic has proven equal parts innovative, influential, and marketable. Aside from his Academy Award-winning contribution to Alien (1979), there are also two Giger-themed bars and a HR Giger Museum in Switzerland.

A monumental monograph was already in the works when Giger died in 2014. The limited edition book will be released by Taschen this year, following the story of the artist’s life and exploring his dynamic body of work. Complete with seven fold-out spreads, an essay written by Giger scholar Andreas J. Hirsch, a full biography alongside quotes and writings by the visionary himself, HR Giger will immerse its readers in the artist’s fantastical dystopian universe.

Cover. Li II, 1973–1974. Acrylic and India ink on paper on wood.
p. 45 Gebärmaschine, 1967 India ink on Transcop on paper on wood | © Carmen Giger (HR Giger Estate). p. 45. Gebärmaschine, 1967. India ink on Transcop on paper on wood.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3QqKlpOZE0

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