The Art of the Xenomorph - TopTenMM Alien Movies

The Xenomorph is perhaps one the most terrifying yet purely original movie aliens. First

appearing in 1979’s Alien and making several appearances thereafter within the franchise

and beyond, the Xenomorph has become symbol of sci fi terror - a creature so horrifying and

grotesque, yet elegant in its own way - a creature that could only be the product of a

powerful and twisted imagination.

H R Giger was born in Switzerland in 1940 during the second world war. He lived in a

constant state of fear. In an interview with VICE, Giger said, "I could feel the atmosphere

when my parents were afraid. The lamps were always a bluish dark so the planes would not

bomb us."

Giger’s work was never normal, it pushed the boundaries, it visualized fear.

Giger used art to express this fear with dark creations and strange figures, and it

was through this fear that the Xenomorph was eventually born. Giger’s art gained

popularity in the 70s - from small exhibitions at galleries - and eventually he began to be

noticed by some of the world’s greatest artists at the time. Giger’s work continued to evolve

and, in 1977, he released a collected publication of his works - Necronomicon, which today is

considered one of the greatest influences on Alien. Director Ridley Scott happened to come

across a copy of Necronomicon soon after agreeing to direct Alien and instantly knew Giger

was the man to bring it to life. Based heavily on the works in Necronomicon, the Xenomorph

was born - the perfected movie alien.


Giger’s work was never normal, it pushed the boundaries, it visualized fear. In fact, his work

was so unconventional and disturbing that it was often banned and perhaps that’s its

greatest complement. Giger discovered a way to get under your skin with only the power of

his art, his obsessions with bones and skulls, and the contorted creatures they become. Giger

created a nightmare. The Xenomorph was, very literally, the product of a nightmare and the

disturbing times Giger endured during the second world war and through his art we

experience that fear with him.

From the films to the games and the comics, the Xenomorph lives on. Decades from its

creation from the profound mind of H R Giger, and more than 5 years after his death, the

Xenomorph continues to terrify audiences. Today, the H R Giger museum in Gruyeres,

Switzerland displays the largest collection of the artist’s work from the Xenomorph to other

art from the creative mastermind H R Giger.

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