Hans Rudolph

Switzerland • 1940−2014
Hans Rudolf Giger (German Hans Rudolf "Rüdi" Giger, February 5, 1940, Chur, Switzerland - May 12, 2014, Zurich, Switzerland) - Swiss artist, famous for his grim scenes. Since childhood, he suffered from nightmares and coped with them, transferring them to paper. He began to publish his work in magazines after graduation. Giger is considered the forefather of "biomechanical" painting. On the basis of one of his drawings from the series "Biomekhanoidy" was created Alien - an alien from the movie Ridley Scott.

Features of the artist Rudi Giger: he preferred dark colors and fantastic plots. Anthropomorphic and zoomorphic creatures with mechanical parts of bodies became his business card. Giger created most of his major works with an airbrush, but in the last years of his life he completely abandoned this technique.

Famous works of Hans Rudolf Giger: "Necron IV", "Lee", "Birth Machine", "Dune", "Atomic Children", "New York".

According to connoisseurs of modern painting, the name of Hans Rudi Giger (him. Hans Rudolf "Rüdi" Giger) everyone who knows a little about art should know. The name is usually pronounced, meaningfully rolling his eyes. About "Alien" speak contemptuously, as about something not worthy of attention. On the microphone stand of the Korn soloist - a bit more respectful. About "Necronomicon Giger" - with delight. And God forbid you call the paintings of Hans Rudi Giger creepy - you will be immediately corrected, mentioning the "gloomy aesthetics", and recall Bosch.

Giger lived for 74 years and managed to “celebrate” in various fields of art, in addition, he created the design of rooms and even jewelry in his own unique style. He became the first and so far the only Swiss to win an Oscar. The gloomy creations provided the artist with world fame, but painting has always been for him in the first place a way to cope with his own nightmares. Frightening others, Giger secured a few quiet nights, deprived of the usual creepy dreams.


When on May 12, 2014, all news began to trumpet the death of Hans Rudi Giger, the fans lamented not so much that the artist passed away, but about exactly how this happened. According to them, Giger probably had to die under mysterious circumstances or disappear without a trace — either by returning to his home planet, or by becoming a victim of alien abduction. Or, at least, die from an overdose of hallucinogens with an airbrush in their hands. The gloomy and mysterious aura with which the artist surrounded himself during his lifetime did not imply a ruthless life prose. In fact, there was a "stupid and ridiculous" death in all its glory. Hans Rudy Giger died in hospital after spending the last three days of his life there. The cause of his death was the damage that the artist received, falling from the stairs in his own house in Switzerland.

This house, more precisely, the chateau called Saint-Germain Giger bought in 1998. An impressive part of the room he took under the museum, in which he began to post his own paintings and the work of his colleagues, who also create paintings in the style of fantastic realism.

Residents of the small Swiss town of Gruyere, the famous cheese of the same name, had to get used to a peculiar neighbor for a long time. Respectable and for the most part religious provincial cheese-makers did not want their cozy town to be associated with Giger's “satanic” pictures. To reconcile them with such a neighborhood could not unless drying up the flow of tourists, all year round, coming to the Giger Museum. Now it occupies the entire territory of Saint-Germain’s castle, and after the artist’s death the number of visitors instantly grew.


Hans Rudy all his life suffered from nightmares. His friend psychologist Stanislav Grof believed that the reason for this was the circumstances of the artist’s birth and the first years of his life. Giger was born on February 5, 1940, at the very beginning of the Second World War. Of course, military horrors and deprivations of the future artist did not touch: he was lucky to be born in Switzerland, which in those years was an oasis of calm due to the preservation of neutrality. However, news bulletins and television programs did not leave the boy indifferent. He was particularly impressed by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The spirit of death that hung over Europe left its mark on the hobbies of little Hans Rudy. In particular, the boy was obsessed with bones. He hid every bone he found under the bed and even excavated under the “pink hill” (where criminals had been executed a long time ago) to replenish his collection. Giger's beloved "toy" was the human skull that was presented by his father, which he carefully kept throughout his life.

Another of his childhood passion was the guillotines. He not only often painted these devices, but even collected his own full-size guillotine (but without a blade), ordering the carpenter all the necessary details. Modern parents would certainly have dragged this, to put it mildly, an extraordinary child to a psychologist. It’s not that Hans Rudy’s parents didn’t disturb his son’s hobbies, but they didn’t beat the alarm either, justifiably arguing that in time he would “play enough” and calm down. In general, this is exactly what happened, only nightmares have not disappeared anywhere. But Giger already knew that they could be fought by throwing out creepy images on paper.


Why did Hans Rudi Giger become an artist? It's simple: he never did anything else. Shortly after graduation, he published his work in magazines, and later began to produce collections of drawings with talking names: “Train ghosts” (1, 2), "Holiday for the psychiatrist" and "Atomic Children". These names, like the images created by Giger, were, of course, from childhood. Then the favorite place of little Hans Rudi was the basement, he was not at all frightened by the dark corners and monsters under the stairs. He had enough of his own nightmares.

The Necronomicon book, which, contrary to popular belief, has nothing to do with the eponymous book Lovecraft, brought real fame to Giger. Back in 1968, the artist published a collection "Biomechanoids", creating a completely new, previously unknown creatures - the creation of a harmonious synthesis of engineering and organic. From that time until now, the name of Giger is synonymous with the term "biomechanical art." And, of course, his name is often mentioned in conjunction with the title of the film Ridley Scott. The series of films that became a separate phenomenon in cinema and after their release on the screens of Giger were called none other than “the father of Alien”. The artist himself more than once lamented the theme that his “Alien” fans are not at all interested in his other works, the cinema monster has overshadowed all his achievements. But he didn’t have less to love the alien monster: “He's like a child.” You have to love your own children all your life, don’t you? ”

Giger's pictures are also interesting in their creation. He liked to work with gloomy shades: black, brown, dark green and cool blue, generously flavoring them with a metallic sheen. For many years, the artist worked exclusively with the help of an airbrush, creating fantastic worlds from hundreds of tiny details (which is quite difficult to do with such a tool). People who saw him at work claimed that at these moments Hans Rudy did not belong to himself, as if some unknown force had driven his hand. Whatever it was, in the last years of his life, Giger completely abandoned the airbrush and categorically refused all requests to demonstrate his work.

The story of how the artist with a series of paintings was detained by customs officers, either in Danish or in a Dutch airport, became the talk of the town, since they accepted the work of Giger for photographs. Only after the invited expert confirmed that they were painted using the spray gun, the artist was released in peace. “Where, I wonder, did they think I photographed it all? - then Giger was indignant. - AT hell? "

Anyway, now they say a lot about the fact that with his paintings Hans Rudi Giger predicted the future. The artist said: “We now live in a world where surrealist fantasies can easily be realized”. Robotics, genetic engineering, cloning, implants, bones and organs printed on 3D printers ... Who knows, it is quite possible that in many years all of humanity will live in the gloomy fantasy world of Giger pictures.

Author: Evgenia Sidelnikova
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