Hans Ruedi Giger, who used his artist name H.R. Giger, was born in 1940 to a chemist's family in Chur, Switzerland. In 1962, he moved 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 a few oils, leading to 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 best-known works, the surrealistic bio-mechanical dreamscapes which formed the cornerstone of his fame.
Giger's first book, 'Necronomicon', published in 1977 by Sphinx in Basle, served as the visual inspiration for director Ridley Scott's blockbuster movie 'Alien', It was Giger's first film assignment, which also earned him the 1980 Oscar for the Best Achievement in Visual Effects, for his designs of the film's title character and its otherworldly environment.
Giger's other film work includes 'Poltergeist II', 'Alien 3' 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 as a sculptor, and in 1992, he created his first total environment, the Giger Bar in Chur. The Museum H.R. Giger in Château Saint-Germain was opened in Gruyères in 1998. The artist lived and worked in Zurich with his wife, Carmen Maria Scheifele Giger, who is the Director of the H.R. Giger Museum. Giger passed away on 12 May 2014 at the age of 74, as a result of injuries sustained in a fall.