H.R. Gieger

H.R. Giger was born on February 5, 1940, in Chur, Switzerland. He was raised in a middle class environment, and his dad was a pharmacist. His dad recieved a human skull as a promotional peice from a pharmacy institution when he was very young, and this sparked H.R. Gigers interest in the strange and macabre. His mother encouraged his artistic ability, though she often failed to understand his strange fascinations. In 1953 he attends the cantonal school in Chur (a technical school), and in 1957 attends the Institute Haute Rampe, Lausanne. In 1958 he goes to Alpina College, Davos, and then in 1959 he becomes an apprentice to architect Venatius Maisen, Chur, and the developer Hans Stetter Chur. Later that year he joined the Military College in Winterthur - as a mortar firer with light mobilized troops. And finally in 1962 he attends the School of Applied Arts, Zurich, in the department of Interior and Industrial Design.
As Giger went through college, he produced many drawings, with ink and other mediums like glue and chalk, and ink paintings with such a large amount of ink that a razor was used to scrape out the details. Underground magazines and the occassional reputational art magazines published many of his work, and eventually one of Giger's freinds helped him create posters. He even had a 10 minute interview done on him by a freind who was a movie director. Soon, Giger began getting work on movies, in creating the monsters and sometimes environments. His residences for the most part were all in condemned buildings, using the wide space for art studios. Giger also began using the airbrush, and has become known as the best aircrush artist in the world.
After college Giger's interest expanded into sculpturing and he became a master of a very broad amount of mediums. His work uses dark tones, usually black, grey, dark greens, and sometimes dark blues. Light is usually only used in his work to accent the darker tones to the peice. He developed the "biomechanicle" style, where it seems to mix the feel of something living and organic with the technicality of a machine. As a result, his peices are always eerie and often disturbing. His style would be best described as surrealism.
His two most interesting movie exploits were the series of movies "Aliens", and "Species". One of his sculptures was found by Ridly Scott, Director of Alien, and he decided it was the perfect model for the creature in the movie. As a result, Giger was to design the 4 stages of the creature, egg, facehugger, chest burster, and adult stage. In addition to this, Giger created the aliens hive environment, easily noticeable as his work by the dark colors and again, the 'biomechanicle" look. Giger was not contracted for any later movies in the aliens series, and he is a bit upset at that, but even more so that Aliens has not given him credit for the creature and environment design since the first movie.
He later has another problem with recognition. He was to create the creature for the movie species, but his finished project was modified by others and changed too much from how me created it, and he decided that he did not want to recieve credit for it any more, as he felt it was no longer... his. As a result, it is a very little known fact that he had any part in this movie.
He also did work on the poltergeist 2 movie, which was hugely unsuccessfull and very very unknown. He however forsaw the movies doom, and expressed concern due to the weak story, and the fact that no one was telling him what was needed of him. Nothing much came of this movie.
In 1979, Giger marries Mia Binzanigo, a freind and associate. Later on he opens up the "Giger Bar", a bar in his hometown, Chur, comprised entirely of his work. The bar includes chairs, tables, floor, ceiling, window, door, and bar designs all by him, creating a very strange building. Geiger also works on a museum called the "Geiger Museum" that houses all of his art.
There is a rumor that Giger has died, however the web sites confirm no such thing, and as Mark Twain once said "The Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."
All this information was obtained off of H.R. Geigers web site, at