HR Giger, artist of fantastic realism

Essay by ledhedlucyHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2004

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HR Giger is best known as the foremost artist of Fantastic Realism. He was born in a small town on the outskirts of Germany in February, 1940. Giger grew up in a normal, middle class family environment. His father was the local pharmacist. When he was quite young his father received a human skull as a professional promotion from a pharmaceutical firm, and the Giger was immediately spellbound from the moment he layed his eyes on it.

He soon developed a fascination with all things dark and strange, and later found inspiration from the works of Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau. After high school Giger went on to study architecture and industrial design at Zurich's School of Applied Arts. He soon expanded his network of friends to include those in involved in various aspects of the arts, and began drawing creatively with oils in his free time.

In 1966 Giger began work as an interior designer, and at the same time, completed some early paintings which included Birth Machine, The Blinds, Kleiner Kopf, and Nach den 120 Tagen von Sodom.

His first paintings were mostly done with oils, or ink drawings. In 1968 Giger began working exclusively as an artist, as well as filmmaker. In 1969, his first posters were published, and had his first solo exhibitions outside of Zurich.

In the next decade, Giger began using the airbrush. These new works took on a unique otherworldly quality. His most well known works of this period were called "The Biomechanical Dreamscape paintings" and included many series of paintings such as "The Spell" and the "Passage Temple." These works were said to be the conerstone of his fame, and are some of his most famous pieces of art. He grew to be considered the leading airbrush artist in the world...