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Turning night terrors into unforgettable art: Fans mourn loss of 'Alien' artist HR Giger

Ridley Scott said he was a “real artist and great eccentric, a true original, but above all, he was a really nice man”.

Image: Keystone Switzerland/Press Association Images

SWISS SURREALIST ARTIST Hans Ruedi Giger, who won an Oscar for the monster he created for Ridley Scott’s “Alien”, died aged 74, it was confirmed yesterday.

Swiss public broadcaster SRF meanwhile reported that Giger had died Monday afternoon in hospital from injuries sustained in a fall, citing sources close to his family.

Born on 5 February, 1940 into a chemists family in the small eastern Swiss town of Chur, Giger moved to Zurich in 1962 to study architecture and industrial design. He quickly turned to art, producing first mainly ink drawings and oil paintings that formed the basis for his first solo exhibition four years later.

His distinctive style shot to global fame when he created the “Alien” for Ridley Scott’s 1979 iconic film, with help from “ET” creator Carlo Rambaldi. The nightmarish skeletal monster, with its elongated metallic head and mouth filled with vampire-sharp teeth, earned Giger an Oscar in 1980 for the Best Achievement in Visual Effects.

The terrifying costume, which was worn to great effect by an actor in the film, was reportedly sold at auction about a decade ago for $126,000.

His designs were also centrepieces in a range of other well-known films, including “Poltergeist II”, directed by Brian Gibson, David Fincher’s “Alien3″, and Roger Donaldson’s 1995 horror movie “Species”. The artist also gained international recognition for his often dark and demonic Giger sculptures, as well as for his paintings and furniture.

Tributes flooded in for the deceased artist yesterday, with Ridley Scott describing how “committed and passionate” he was, according to Screen Daily.

“He was a real artist and great eccentric, a true original, but above all, he was a really nice man,” he said. “He will be missed.”

On Twitter, too, fans paid homage to his life’s work and his general eccentricities…

 

 

- With additional reporting by AFP. 

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