H. R. Giger is recognized as one of the world’s foremost artists of Fantastic
Realism. Born in 1940 to a chemist’s family in Chur, Switzerland, he moved in 1962 to Zurich, where he studied architecture
and industrial design at the School of Applied
Arts. By 1964 he was producing his first
artworks, mostly ink drawings and oil paintings, resulting in his first solo exhibition in 1966, followed by the publication
and world-wide distribution of his first poster edition in 1969. Shortly after, he discovered the airbrush and, along with
it, his own unique freehand painting style, leading to the creation of many of his most well known works, the surrealistic
Biomechanical dreamscapes, which formed the cornerstone of his fame. To date, 20 books have been published about Giger’s
Giger’s third and most famous book, Necronomicon, published in 1977, served as the visual inspiration for
director Ridley Scott’s film Alien, Giger's first film assignment, which earned him the 1980 Oscar for the Best Achievement
in Visual Effects for his designs of the film's title character and the stages of its lifecycle, plus the film’s the
otherworldly environments. Giger's other film works include Poltergeist II, Alien3 and Species.
Giger's album covers
for Debbie Harry and the band ELP were voted among the 100 best in music history in a survey of rock journalists. Throughout
his career, Giger also worked in sculpture and, in 1988, created his first total environment, the Tokyo Giger Bar, and in
1992 a second Giger Bar in Chur.
In 1998, The HR Giger Museum was inaugurated in the Château St. Germain, a four-level
building complex in the historic, medieval walled city of Gruyères, Switzerland. As the permanent home to many of the artist’s most prominent works, the Giger Museum houses the largest collection of the artist's paintings, sculptures, furniture and film designs, dating from the early
1960's until the present day. Displayed on the museum's top floor is Giger's own private art collection, as well as the HR
Giger Museum Gallery where, on a rotating basis, Giger curates one-man shows for other artists.
The adjoining new HR
Giger Museum Bar was officially opened on April 12, 2003 as part of the museum complex. Giger’s
designs for the bar emphasizes the pre-existing Gothic architecture of the 400 year old space. The giant skeletal arches covering
the vaulted ceiling, together with the bar’s fantastic stony furniture, evoke the building’s original medieval
character and give the space a church-like feeling.
During the last 3 years, Giger has been honored with a series
of major museum retrospectives. In 2004 was the opening of a six-month exhibition at the Museum Halle Saint Pierre in Paris, France. "Le monde selon H.R. Giger" (The World According to H.R. Giger), was the largest exhibition of the artist's work
to ever take place outside of Switzerland. Over one year in preparation, ninety percent of the artwork was on loan from Giger's
collectors, including three Swiss museums. The display of more than 200 pieces spanned four decades of the celebrated artist’s
career, covering two floors of the museum's exhibition space. On December 17, 2004, H.R. Giger
received the prestigious award, "La Médaille de la Ville de Paris", at Paris City Hall, from Christophe Girard, the city’s Deputy Mayor in charge of Culture.
retrospective was followed by ‘H.R. Giger in Prague” in 2005 at the National Technical Museum of Prague, in the Czech Republic and in 2006 by “Giger in Wien” at the Kunsthaus Wien, in Austria.
This coming July Giger will finally have a major exhibition in the city of his birth, Chur, at the Bundner Kunstmuseum. He
continues to live and work in Zurich with his wife, Carmen Maria Scheifele Giger.