Art in Alien and Alien: Covenant


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“Not that the alien’s design was solely drawn from the twisted vaults of Giger’s lobes. For the chestburster, the director asked him to draw upon Francis Bacon’s 1944 triptych Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion. (Bacon’s abstract images are themselves based on the Greek myth of the Furies: winged deities of vengeance and personifications of the anger of the dead.) By his own admission, Giger’s first attempt to infuse Bacon in the baby alien looked like a ‘degenerate plucked turkey.’ Versed in art history, Scott was layering this ‘B-movie’ with the Dantean textures of that wizardly club: BlakeDoreBosch, and Dali. But more often than not, he would pull out Giger’s Necronomicon and point to what he wanted.” – Alien Vault

I think it is quite interesting you have the Chestburster based on Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion by Bacon and then you have the symbolism further reinforced with it being based on the Furies. Vengence and Anger of the dead are so deeply symbolic of that re-birth and creation of the Xenomorph much like the symbolism I found in Elizabeth Shaw’s demise in Alien: Covenant.

I have teamed up with Weyland Yutani Analytics to create this video (my voice and research used with his fantastic editing skills) of what I believe happened to Elizabeth, and you can see from the symbolism contained in this scene how it could directly relate to everything about Alien and Alien: Covenant. The story of Paradise Lost, Dante’s Inferno, The Divine Comedy intertwined with the original artistic inspiration Ridley Scott had for the movie so many years ago. Then you have the themes of rape, rebirth and vengeance or disaster symbolised in the Facehugger, Helen, Leda and Shaw.

These themes so interestingly connected, for me makes the Alien movies so much more interesting.

To read more about the art present in Alien: Covenant you can read: