Celebrated surrealist artist H.R. Giger died this week at age 74.
The Swiss artist is best known for creating a variety of works that explored the relationship between the human body and machines — a unique style that was called upon to create the sets and iconic alien creatures of Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi horror film Alien, for which Giger was awarded the Oscar for “Best Achievement in Visual Effects.” His impressive designs for various sets and characters from Frank Herbert’s novel Dune were also featured in the recent documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, about a director’s failed attempt at adapting Herbert’s novel in the ’70s.
According to Reuters, Giger died on Monday after sustaining injuries in a fall. His death was confirmed by representatives of his museum in Switzerland, which is run by his second wife, Carmen Maria Scheifele Giger.
Giger was renowned for creating nightmarish visions of people and creatures fused with machinery, and nightmarish landscapes that blurred the line between industrial creation and living, breathing subjects. In addition to his work on canvas and in film, Giger was also an accomplished sculptor.
“My paintings seem to make the strongest impression on people who are, well, who are crazy,” said Giger in a 1979 interview with Starlog magazine. “A good many people think as I do. If they like my work they are creative… or they are crazy.”
Don’t believe him? Check out this interview from 2011: