|Alien Monster IV (1978) and J G Ballard (1970s)|
a) Identifying a familiar face
Having noticed that Giger seemed to incorporate ideas to do with the Lord of the Ring's Gandalf's battle with the Balrog at the bridge in Moria and he was also referencing Joan Wyatt's painting of the Balrog which seem to be loosely based on Delville's Treasures of Satan. Then there's a question of a human face in there to be recognised, I briefly wondered if it was Tolkien's and the answer is "no!".
|J G Ballard in 1969 or 1970: |
Issue #1 of Jannick Storm's J.G. Ballard newsletter, Limbo
|J G Ballard (1970s)|
b) Balrog connects with Ballard
I thought about the word Balrog and that Ballard being the nearest name to that might be the face in Giger painting simply because of the word association, and a 1970s photo shows Ballard with his mutton chops/ sideburns on display and I think the pipes at the left side of the painting are Ballard's sideburns, and the thing with the glow worm coming out is the line at the side of the mouth.
The crescent shaped worm at the bottom would be the collar of his sweater/jumper, they both have vertical ribbing.
The creature's pelvic plate represents the part of his chin above the dimple and the shape of the mouth perhaps merged into one.
Meanwhile the neck of the beast becomes a eyebrow with the eye being the space beneath above the hand. The pattern on the crease in the shoulder on the right becomes the ribcage for the alien creature.
Is this enough evidence? Can there be any further evidence found? Possibly not. It is so abstracted as a face that perhaps it's not ideal to claim that is supposed to be anyone's face at all but ask if Ballard's photo was used as reference.
What would Ballard's image be doing there, well, Giger admitted to being a fan of his work and oddly it was hoped that Ballard would novelise the film, but he decided that he didn't like the script.
SFX: What's your relationship with the Literature of Science Fiction? What are your favorite authors?
HR Giger: Ballard, no doubt. Ballard of all! (Cinema SFX #9, Gennaio 1997)
|Alien (Winged) / Alien Monster IV by H.R.Giger|