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Michael Böhme - an international SPACE ART ARTIST

Foreword by Prof.Dr.Keller, Stuttgart, Germany

Michael Böhme from Constance on Lake Constance, Germany is one of the most internationally renowned artists of the SPACE ART style, also known as Cosmic Art. The artist of cosmic painting was born in Chemnitz,Germany, in 1943.
In his civilian job as a former public prosecutor, he devoted himself early on to general questions about the future of the earth and humanity, which he recognized as threatened, as well as about the existence of extraterrestrial life and highly technical extraterrestrial civilizations.Böhme visualizes both themes in a highly impressive, sometimes drastic way. His limitless imagination is particularly evident in the depiction of extraterrestrial life forms.

On the one hand, his pictures are dedicated to the clear threat to mankind caused by the ignorance of our species. On the other hand, the viewer experiences possible space dwellers and their artefacts as if they were a matter of course in the universe.

A few works from his rich oeuvre should be mentioned as examples: "The Hourglass" demonstrates the trickling of a green natural landscape into gray, dead and poisonous dust - a possible threatening fate of all earthly life. When will this clock run out?

"Endzeit" shows the remaining remnants of an earthly landscape that is harassed by poisonous wafts of fog.

"Nature on the Run", "Nevertheless", "Contradictory Behavior", "Mirroring", "The Blessing of Progress", "Looking into the Green", "It's Melting Between Your Fingers", "Just Before Twelve" and "On the Search after water" are other environmentally critical images from his large repertoire.

Michael Böhme warns: "Unlimited belief in progress with increasing overexploitation of our natural basis of life leads to the demise of mankind. Only if we solve these problems is there still realistic hope that we can preserve a future worth living".

Michael Böhme began his steep career with his first exhibition "Our future begins today" in the Stuttgart planetarium in autumn 1984. His second exhibition "Life under foreign suns" in the Stuttgart planetarium in autumn 1985 was dedicated to the exciting topic of extraterrestrial life forms

For as long as anyone can remember,laypersons and scientists alike have been concerned with the question of whether life exists outside of our earth, perhaps even a technical civilization that is far superior to us. Finding such an advanced society would have a lasting effect on our self-image. It would probably help us thoroughly solve our increasingly threatening problems of environmental degradation and overpopulation.

Michael Böhme's works give an idea of ​​what such worlds could look like in the light of foreign suns, whereby he always realistically takes into account the known laws of nature. His pictures are gates into what was previously hidden. They invite viewers to explore the paintings with their own imagination.

The "City of Pyramids" is one of such fantastic works. Dwellings of extraterrestrials in a grim, alien landscape of a distant planet.

Reality has partly caught up with Böhme's imagination. In autumn 1995, when Böhme presented his works for the second time in the Planetarium Stuttgart, a planet outside our solar system was detected for the first time. It orbits the sun Helvetios (51 Pegasi), which is 51 light years away. In the meantime more than 5000 exoplanets have been discovered. They are part potential sites of extraterrestrial biological evolution. Michael Böhme's pictures such as "Future City", "Distant World", "In the Andromeda Galaxy", "Lights on the Shore", "Coming Event", "Symbiosis", "Station in the Clouds", "In the Light of the Trifid Nebula" ", "Parallel Worlds", "Outposts", "Alien Civilization", "A Black Hole - Gateway to Far Worlds" and "Breakthrough into a New Dimension" go well with this.

With the James Webb Space Telescope, which was recently brought to the Langrange point L2, it is hoped that not only will it be possible to discover more exoplanets, but also to study their atmospheres in the legitimate hope of detecting biomarkers.
The discovery of free oxygen would be almost conclusive evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life.

Michael Böhme's paintings soon became known and admired in the USA.

At the invitation of the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, he exhibited his paintings in the USA for the first time.
The Apollo astronauts were also trained in astronaut navigation at the Morehead Planetarium before their journey to the moon.

His 3rd exhibition "Preserving our environment and exploring our universe" (spring 2002) and his 4th exhibition "Foreign Worlds" (winter 2007) in the Planetarium Stuttgart also met with great interest from the public.

Michael Böhme has meanwhile gained international fame as a space art painter.He is a member of numerous academies, artist guilds and art associations. Among other things, he was appointed Fellow Member of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA).

His pictures could be admired worldwide, such as at the New York Space Expo in Manhattan, in the California Academy of Science, San Francisco, in the Florida Museum of History, in the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, in the Art Institute, Chicago, at the International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles and in the Observatorio di Palermo, Sicily, to name just a few of the most important exhibitions. His time-critical and exobiological images could also be seen in the planetariums of Prague and Berlin. His environmental criticism has also found its way into numerous school books.

His video "Are we alone?" found undivided interest and praise at the Congress of the International Academy of Astronautics at the University of Turin, Italy.

Michaels Böhme's pictures also found their way into space. He participated in the first art exhibition on the MIR space station in 1995. Unfortunately, on the second space visit, the return of two of his works went awry. They burned to death in the 2003 Columbia space shuttle crash.

Exploring the universe is mankind's most fascinating adventure. It helps to understand the secrets of the universe and thus also of our earth.In this way we can find ways to preserve and further develop humanity and protect it from self-destruction. Michael Böhme's motto, which inspires his artistic work, is therefore: "We should strive forward, but we have to act carefully so as not to destroy the basis for our survival."

Prof. Dr. Hans Ulrich Keller

Founding director of the Planetarium Stuttgart
Professor of astronomy at the University of Stuttgart
Director of the Weinheim Observatory