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Surrealist artist H.R. Giger dead at 74

Surrealist painter Hans Ruedi Giger, whose designs inspired the creature in Alien, passes away on Monday, following hospitalization for falling down the stairs in his Zurich home. He was 74.

Giger described his artwork as "biomechanical" by the BBC, and many paintings featured genitalia in the art, while others found machines fused to organic beings. He also often often created wonderfully grotesque art graced album covers for Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Debbie Harry and Danzig.

"My paintings seem to make the strongest impression on people who are, well, who are crazy," Giger said in a 1979 interview, "If they like my work they are creative ... or they are crazy."

Giger was pleased that his idea of machines with human skin became a popular motif in body art. "The greatest compliment is when people get tattooed with my work, whether it's done well or not," he told Seconds magazine in 1994.

"To wear something like that your whole life is the largest compliment someone can pay to you as an artist."

 Details on survivors and funeral plans were not immediately available.

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