H. R. Giger
Several years ago, in the days when I was still using the internet social network Myspace, I stumbled upon the personal page of Eric Schweig. There he shared regularly his thoughts and strong opinions with his Myspace friends (over 5000, if my memory is correct), as well as photographs of his activities and interests (This page has been closed since).
What I was most surprised to discover when I found this Myspace page, was the background image chosen by Schweig: a work of the Swiss surrealist painter H.R. Giger representing the predatory beast Alien, the most famous of Giger’s creations. It seems like Schweig have seen “Alien” (1979), the science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, in 9th or 10th grade during the Christmas holidays, and he would have loved very much the highly aggressive extraterrestrial creature born from the hands of Giger.
H. R. Giger most distinctive stylistic innovation as an artist is that of a representation of human bodies and machines in a cold, interconnected relationship, he described as “biomechanical”. Giger suffers from night terrors and his paintings are all to some extent inspired by his experiences with that particular sleep disorder. He studied interior and industrial design at the School of Commercial Art in Zurich (from 1962 to 1965) and made his first paintings as a means of art therapy.
Giger made several conceptual paintings of the adult Alien before crafting the final version for the film. He sculpted the creature’s body using plasticine, incorporating pieces such as vertebrae from snakes and cooling tubes from a Rolls-Royce. His design for Alien earned him an Oscar in 1980. Alien has been referred to as “one of the most iconic movie monsters in film history”. The film has continued to receive critical praise over the years, particularly for its realism and unique environment. Critics have also analyzed Alien‘s strong Freudian sexual overtones. On one level it’s about parasitism and disease, on another level the Alien’s phallic head and method of killing create a strong sexual imagery. That did not stop Eric Schweig to tattoo a representation of Alien on his right arm, in addition to the beautiful vampire/demon woman on his left arm (he also has a tattoo on the back, a face of a demon). Sources about Alien and Giger : Wikipedia.