HR Giger – Master of “Heavy Metal” Macabreon April 23, 2011 at 1:40 am
Hans Rudolf “Ruedi” Giger is a master painter and one of the most influential fine artists of our time. The Swiss born Giger, has been called by many a surrealist painter but he is SO much more than that. I think Giger actually created his own category for art. It is beyond surreal more or less bio-mechanical evil.
Giger is also a sculptor and set designer that won an Academy Award for Best Achievement for Visual Effects for his design work on the film Alien. Brilliant, genius, reclusive—sure he is all of that but to me, (Hal Hefner – creator of Heavy Metal’s 1st online comic–he is the epitome of raw futurism, harnessed by the third eye of creativity.
EVeryone knows Giger’s books and the movie Alien, but it’s what never happened that I am most interested in. In the late 70’s, Giger created furniture designs for the Harkonnen Capo Chair for a movie version of the novel Dune (by Frank Herbert) that was to be directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Mobius was also working on art for thsi movie but it never ended up getting made. Jodorowsky now writes for Heavy Metal ironically.
Then many years later, David Lynch directed the film, using only rough concepts by Giger. It is said that Giger had wished to work with Lynch as well he states in one of his books that Lynch’s film Eraserhead was closer to realizing his vision in film even than his own films.
Giger’s work embodies the lifestyle that is Heavy Metal. Somewhere betwen evil, fetish, uncomfortable, mechanical, painful, bizare, horror, sensuality and extra terrestrial—is Giger. He is the ultimate artist for a counterculture of deep thinking humans. And to serve these people Giger has applied his biomechanical style to interior design. One “Giger Bar” sprang up in Tokyo, but the realization of his designs were a great disappointment to the artist, since the Japanese organization behind the venture did not wait for his final designs, instead rushing ahead with rough preliminary sketches.Giger was not happy and detatched himself from the bar. And soon after that, there were two Giger Bars in his native Switzerland (in Gruyères and Chur), built under Giger’s close personal supervision. They still remain to this day.
Ironically it was in 1966 Giger began work as an interior designer and that is obviously a passion of his reflective of his bars etc. And at that same time in 66 he completed some early paintings. In 1968 Giger began working exclusively as an artist, as well as filmmaker and had his first posters published in 1969 and also has some of his first exhibitions outside of Zurich.
And in 1978, Giger began working on what would come to define his career–the movie ALIEN. Giger ended up sculpting much of the creatures and sets of Alien and in 1980 he was awarded an Oscar for his stunning work on the film.
One of my favorite philosophers, who I quote quite often has a great quote about Giger. “Giger, you are an alien lurking inside my body, laying you futique eggs of wonder.” – Timothy Leary
Giger is a HUGE influence on me and his art has been a staple in my collection of references and nightmares since I first stumbled upon it as a young boy in my local comic book store in upstate NY. I can only hope that I may have the chance to work with him one day on a project. It would be amazing and of course an honor.