Thursday, May 29, 2014

The helping of Bacon on the Nostradamus

The death of H R Giger a couple of weeks ago found journalists mostly crediting him with the creation of the alien in Ridley Scott’s eponymous movie. While it’s true that Giger has left an indelible mark on the history of the movies (and that just with that one spectacular effort) for all the talk around his contributions, the nest and eggs, the chest beast and the alien itself, the inspiration of his brilliant monster creation was all but forgotten. 

Giger himself was always the first to acknowledge that the alien in Alien would not have existed without the right hand panel of Francis Bacon’s 1944 painting Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion. Although one of his major sources (the screaming nurse on the Odessa Steps in the movie Battleship Potemkin) is in there somewhere it really does look as though Bacon dragged this primordial image up out of his own mind.

Images: top, Giger bottom Bacon