The Gore Spotlight

Dark Visions
A tribute to H.R. Giger

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

With the abrupt death of the iconic Swiss surrealist Hans Ruedi Giger on May 12, 2014, we at HMS felt it was essential to pay homage to an artist and a visionary that had an immeasurable impact on the horror and heavy metal community from the humble beginnings of heavy metal and punk rock music.

This article will be one of several you will be seeing throughout the week discussing his impact on these genres that we love so dearly and defend so passionately. His vision was a truly unique one. Often replicated but never fully duplicated, his work was both highly respected yet frequently exploited.

The predominant theme of death and sex dominates Giger's bio mechanical landscapes in a very visceral display. Giger's complex and torrent love affair with Swiss actress Li Tobler, before and during the early years of his career until her suicide at the very young age of 27, obviously played a part in shaping the artists' bleak vision. A vision which was very much in contrast to Giger's gentle and humble nature. Unarguably, it was Giger's involvement on Ridley Scott's 1979 film Alien that made Giger a household name. His astoundingly detailed and uniquely original biomechaniod creations were the hallmark of Giger's vision and philosophy. But there were many other projects, both before Alien and after, that depicted this humble artists' inventively dark vision. Watch one of the earliest shorts by H.R. Giger below:

I was fortunate enough to find a fairly recent (2008) and intimate interview with H.R. Giger by filmmaker François Boetschi of NU Films, posted at the top of this page. So rather than mechanically list off the accomplishments of H.R. Giger, I would instead encourage you to watch this short documentary and hear about Giger's experiences and perspective from the man himself.

The family of H.R. Giger have posted a statement at which poignantly sums up his values as an artist, husband and friend as well as their gratitude for the outpouring of support and accolades for the late artist. It was in reading this that I was reminded not only about how brilliant an artist H.R. Giger was, but about the countless truly talented individuals still living and developing their craft in the horror and heavy metal community around the world today. Some of those incredible artists have generously donated their time and their talents to making Horror Metal Sounds a vibrant hub of art and literature and we salute them for it.

Although it is a shame that we will no longer see any new creations from the mind of H.R. Giger, he has undoubtedly left behind a remarkable legacy of imaginings that span across all mediums to inspire artists for countless generations to come!

Richard Leggatt, HMS

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