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'Alien' Artist H.R. Giger's Work to be Featured in Queens Exhibit

By Smriti Rao | July 3, 2012 11:28am
The alien in Ridley Scott's sci-fi blockbuster Alien was conceived by Swiss artist H R Giger.
The alien in Ridley Scott's sci-fi blockbuster Alien was conceived by Swiss artist H R Giger.
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H R Giger Museum, Switzerland

QUEENS—With a pointy head, razor sharp teeth and a proclivity to wreak havoc on humans and spaceships, the double-jawed aliens in Ridley Scott's blockbuster "Alien" have thrilled, shocked and repulsed movie-goers for decades.

Fans of the 1979 film will now be able to get inside the head of the man who created cinema’s most notorious alien—surrealist Swiss artist H.R. Giger.

A new exhibit titled Visionaries: The Art of the Fantastic, which opens this month at Queensborough Community College, features work not just by Giger but by fellow surrealists like Isaac Abrams and Bienvenido Bones Banez Jr., curator Olga Spiegel said.

“A lot of artists’ work encompasses magic realism, psychedelic art and symbolism,” explained Spiegel, whose own work is on display at the exhibition.

“Visionary art had not been accepted until recently, but that is changing now,” she added. Close to 40 artists’ work will be on display at the QCC Art Gallery starting July 10 and running through Sept. 20, 2012.

The main draw, however, is expected to be Giger, who won an Academy Award in 1980 for his visual arts work in “Alien," Spiegel said. 

Giger’s work at the QCC exhibition includes recent paintings, sculptures and a silkscreen. Fans can take a closer look at a marble bust of what looks like an alien princess and admire the artist's other sculptures like “Nubian Queen.” 

Calling his work “dark” and “fantastic,” Spiegel added the artist “attracted a certain crowd.”

Recalling "Alien's" phenomenal success, Giger’s longtime friend and agent Leslie Barany said the Swiss painter and sculptor had paintings of the legendary alien, 'Necronom IV' and 'Necronom V' in a art book called 'Necronomicon' long before the famous movie was even conceived. 

When Director Ridley Scott saw the paintings, Barany said Scott exclaimed "Why look further, that's the monster. I have never been so sure of anything in my life." 

Visionaries: The Art of the Fantastic opens July 12 and runs through Sept. 20, 2012.

For more information, go to www.qcc.cuny.edu/artgallery