Alien: Giger's Landscape (work 385) by HR Giger (1978) references Chesley Bonestell's "Stone Architecture on Mars, Demonstrating Mar's Two-Thirds Less Gravity Than Earths."?

 

leading from

Detail from painting of the planetoid landscape (work 385)

a) The bone landscape would be a pun on Bonestell's name, and then we have similar shadowy areas at the bottom of the painting although in Giger's painting there's a central downward curve rather than two upward curves either side.



Near colourless version of Chesley Bonestell's 
"STONE ARCHITECTURE ON MARS, DEMONSTRATING MARS' TWO-THIRDS LESS GRAVITY THAN EARTH'S."   
(source: http://www.sothebys.com/…/space-exploration-n09…/lot.25.html)

b) Bonestell's painting appears to contain a possible corpse that's not easy to see.

If ever it had been discussed at all, it hadn't been openly discussed until storyboard artist Andrew Currie noticed it and presented his realisations in the radio show "The Other Side of Midnight" while Bonestell expert Ron Miller didn't seem to have any clue about it whatsoever even though he saw the painting himself. 

If it wasn't really there as an image, then at least it might have been a popular thing to imagine, with people expecting Chesley to have put something there.
 
The idea there was to present the fact that someone can look at this artwork can come up with interesting associations, and perhaps Chesley Bonestell might have had some interesting ideas coming from another direction that he incorporated into this painting that would confuse anyone looking for something very basic.

Giger's painting appears to play with the corpse idea and gives is a christ like pose, and perhaps the raised arm of the explorer has been turned into the seemingly phallic form. 

However in Giger's painting, both of the standing men would have been obliterated by the need to include recognisable shapes and spaces from the Radio Times photograph of Doctor Bronowski of the Salk Institute .



c) Shadows and highlighted upward curves of sand on the right immediately below the terrace have perhaps been turned by Giger into an impression of an head like form. 




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