Despite protestations from his father, who wanted him to follow his own career path as a pharmacist, Giger studied architecture and industrial design at the School of Applied Arts in Zurich. Upon graduating in the mid-1960s, he set out on a career as an interior designer, but soon decided to pursue visual art full time. He moved first from ink drawings and oil paintings to eventually using an airbrush to create his work.
By the early 1970s, word of Giger’s talent had spread. “He started with exhibitions at galleries or at bars or social spaces,” Hirsch said. “But he quickly somehow developed beyond the confines of the art world.” The artist, who described his style as “biomechanical,” popularized the biomechanical art aesthetic. Notably, his work was featured on the album cover for Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s 1973 record, Brain Salad Surgery, which is widely regarded as a landmark in progressive rock.