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Oscar-winning artist behind Alien dies

The artist behind Oscar-winning designs for sci-fi movie classic Alien has died at the age of 74.

The Swiss designer HR Giger, often fusing human bodies with machinery in his more nightmarish imagery, also created record sleeve artwork for acts such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Debbie Harry.

But he was best known for work on Ridley Scott's 1979 film, including the spaceships and the sinister alien which wreaked havoc on the crew of the Nostromo. He shared in the Oscar awarded for the film's visual effects

Giger died on Monday as a result of injuries suffered in a fall.

His album art for ELP's Brain Salad Surgery and Harry's solo album Koo Koo, in which skewers appear to pierce the singer's face, featured in a Rolling Stone list of the top 100 album covers of all time.

One of his paintings, Work 219: Landscape XX, was at the centre of a US legal case after Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra faced obscenity charges for distributing a reproduction of it with the group's Frankenchrist album in the 1980s.

Giger trained as an industrial designer and went on to work as a Hollywood set designer. As well as Alien, he worked on movies such as Species, Poltergeist II and Dune.

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