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My paintings seem to make the strongest impression on people who are, well, who are crazy. If they like my work they are creative … or they are crazy.

Hans Ruedi Giger, Swiss surrealist who impacted all forms of media, most famous for his Oscar-winning work on the film Alien, passed away on Monday at the age of 74. Giger’s works portrayed “uneasy meshing of machines and biology, in a highly idiosyncratic blend of science fiction and surrealism,” to quote the New York Times. He painted. He sculpted. He designed sets and props for films, and made album cover artwork.

Most of all, no matter what medium he was working in, what Giger did best was push the boundaries—his designs challenged norms and normalcy, blended eroticism and odd sexuality into a mixture of slimy, eyeless, biomechanical terrors. It’s disturbing and off-putting as it combines things we recognize with the morbid unreal, melding two of the most primal instincts—sex and death—as it melds life and unlife.

Freud would have had a conniption fit.

If you think these are disturbing or odd, you should have seen the ones I didn’t post. Giger has been giving people nightmares since the ’70s—Alien still ranks as one of the top films in both the horror and science fiction categories for a reason.

You get talent when you discover the ground of your pain… there is hope and a kind of beauty somewhere, if you look for it.

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