Thursday, January 9, 2014

Swedish UFO art

Decorating the AFU premises with posters, badges, paintings and other forms of UFO and paranormal art is one of my favourite occupations in the archive. I´ve always been fascinated by the psychological impact of UFO art and how it affects our view of the phenomena. In Sweden we have been very fortunate in having many talented artists who have contributed to our magazine and books since UFO-Sweden was founded in 1970. We now have such a large collection of art in AFU that we could start an art museum. Maybe something for the future.

Art in one of the AFU premises

One of the first UFO artists was journalist and popular science writer Eugen Semitjov (1923-1987). He wrote several books on UFOs and space research and also made excellent illustrations to his articles and works. Some of the original drawings have been donated to AFU.

Drawing by Eugen Semitjov illustrating the 1946 Gösta Carlsson landing och contact case

On the walls of our main AFU premise several paintings by Ambjörn Mattsson can be studied. He was the father of UFO-Sweden board member Carl-Anton Mattsson. Many of the paintings of Ambjörn have been sold to members of UFO-Sweden but we have also succeeded in acquiring some of his works to the archive.

Niklas Svahn, son of Clas Svahn, on his way to AFU with a donation of one of Ambjörn Mattsson´s paintings

An important artist in the history of UFO-Sweden was ufologist Arnold Idebring (1921-2012). For many years chairman of the local group, Enköpings UFO-förening, and one of the most active in taking care of UFO-Sweden´s cottage outside Enköping. Here was also housed his many badges, figurines and UFO models that was Arnold´s speciality. Today they have a prominent place in one of the AFU premises.

Badges made by Arnold Idebring at the Enköping cottage

Arnold´s badges now preserved at AFU

Model of the Gösta Carlssons landing case made by Arnold Idebring

Arnold Idebring and wife Elvira at the UFO Sweden annual conference in Stockhoolm April 8, 1989. Notice the UFO lamps to the right, made by Arnold

In the 1980s one of the most frequent illustrators in UFO-Sweden´s magazine UFO-aktuellt was Dezsö Sternoczy. His paintings often exhibited the almost transcendent beauty of UFO experiences. Many of his original works are now stored in the AFU collection of art. 

Painting by Dezsö Sternoczy

Dezsö Sternoczy (left) together with Carl-Anton Mattsson in the beginning of the 1980s

Enormously fascinting is the visonary fantasy and science fiction art of professional artist Max Magnus Norman. The frontpage of one of my books is illustrated by Max and he is also famous for his very large fantasy paintings now in the homes of Swedish ufologists. 

Me admiring one of Max Magnus Norman´s paintings

There are many UFO artists not mentioned but I must of course give credit to Tobias Lindgren, head of the report central for UFO-Sweden. He is also an excellent artist and in his regular column in UFO-Aktuellt he presents suggestive illustrations to UFO reports. Tobias has also made the eye catching cover for my new book, with the perfect 1950s retro feeling. 

Illustration by Tobias Lindgren

Tobias Lindgren in 2012