Graveyard Shift

12 Creepy Facts About H.R. Giger, The Artist Who Designed The Alien From 'Alien'

When most people dream about horrific monsters, they laugh it off. But for artist Hans Rudolf Giger, those nightmares inspired his work. Many know him as the designer of the titular creatures from the Alien movie franchise, but the H.R. Giger biography includes a career as an artist prior to his work on the film. Influenced by everything from his childhood to his own personal fears and terrors, the work of H.R. Giger blends science fiction and surrealism into a reality that's horrifying from afar, but oddly beautiful up close - and sometimes vice versa.

Born in 1940 in Chur, Switzerland, H.R. Giger attended the School of Applied Arts in Zurich. After staging a solo exhibition of his work, Giger discovered the airbrush, which gave his work the unique, smooth style that became his trademark. It was Necronomicon, a collection of his works published in 1977, that got him noticed and hired to design monsters and more for Alien. Although he made the transition from fine artist to film design superstar (and Oscar winner), Giger never wavered in his visions of horror. He passed away after a fall in 2014, but fans in Switzerland can visit the Giger Museum or have a beer at the immersive Giger Bar.

H.R. Giger was once quoted as saying, "Some people say my work is often depressing and pessimistic, with the emphasis on death, blood, overcrowding, strange beings and so on, but I don't really think it is. There is hope and a kind of beauty in there somewhere, if you look for it." H.R. Giger's inspirations and life seem to confirm that view.