J e f f r e y M i l b u r n
First Omni Art Performance Installation in 1984
Jeffrey Milburn with Andy Warhol at the Interview Magazine New Years Eve Party Party at Cafe Roma in New York 1986
Getty Images, Catherine McGann, photographer.
Omni Art Pop Up Street Show at the National Gallery, Washington DC 1991
Jeffrey Milburn with Trish Waters, Special Exhibits Director
The Omni Art Movement
Realism... Impressionism... Abstract Expressionism... Surrealism... Pop Art...Omni Art.
Art is the process of observing and comprehending the world, then expressing it.
For hundreds of years, Art was little more than trying to capture a picture of something and producing a good likeness. This reached the point of precision that approached a photograph.
By the mid-1850’s, the camera was invented and employed to do the job. The Artist was free of the necessity to produce an exact picture of something.
This began the start of several major modern art movements. The first was Impressionism which took shape in the late 1800’s. This was not a replica of the subject, rather the Artists’ impression.
Painters employing this style are Van Gogh, Renoir, and Monet. This approach lasted into the 1930’s until a new movement began, Abstract Realism. In this style, the subject was reduced to minimal and odd shapes that represented the subject.
The best of these was Picasso.
This lead to several variations of abstract expression that exploded in the 1950’s. It was during this time the next movement was born, Surrealism.
The artwork depicted a subject, however, it was presented in a way that was beyond physical reality. Items in the piece were twisted or melted or bent.
Salvador Dali is the father of the Surrealist Art movement that takes us into the 1960’s and the creation of Pop Art and Andy Warhol.
It was in the Pop Art movement that Art began to depict common items people saw every day.
A Campbell soup can, a comic strip character or a photo of Elvis represent iconic examples of the Pop Art movement.
There were several great Pop artists during this time, however, Andy Warhol was “the Pope of Pop ” and he called his studio a “The Factory”.
Warhol produced art for the people in great quantities and they bought everything. His knowledge of the art medium and popular culture was spot on. No artist was ever as famous or successful in their lifetime or today.
The Omni Art movement began in 1981
At his first studio in Denver, Jeffrey Milburn was inspired to begin expressing himself through art and performance and began mounting performance installations locally.
In 1984 Jeffrey moved to New York City where he continued developing his art and created numerous performance installations on the local NY art scene from 1984 - 1991.
Omni Art Performance Installations
During this time, Jeffrey’s work attracted Andy Warhol to an event and they began a discussion of ideas on the nature of contemporary art that lead Milburn to formalize his approach to Omni Art.
Warhol understood that unlike any of the previous styles of artistic expression, Omni Art is not an attempt to represent an object or a subject, but rather a juxtaposition of objects, characters and movement assembled to express the ineffable aspects of a multi-dimensional universe.
One of the first conceptual Omni Artists was Yoko Ono , who also spent time with Warhol at the Factory and was part of the conversation.
The week after the New Year’s party of 1986, a show was held at the Robert Miller Gallery of photos sewn onto canvas by Andy Warhol. The place was packed with people wanting to get their 15 minutes of “fame” with the Pope of Pop.
Jeffrey Milburn was also in attendance.
In a conversation with Andy at the Robert Miller Gallery after his show on January 6, 1987, when the room had been cleared, Andy expressed his boredom with the doing “what was expected” for the last 20 years.
Omni Art is the artistic evolution of expression today and Jeffrey Milburn is the visionary founder of what came after Pop Art.
His work drew the attention of Andy Warhol by the mid 80’s and was recognized for his innovation, insight, and talent.
During this time, Andy and Jeffrey exchanged insights and art, and at the time of his death, Andy had 2 pieces of art in his studio at The Factory, one was a painting he was working on “The Last Supper - The Big C ” and the other was a piece by Jeffrey Milburn.
Madonna and David Bowie also had early pieces of Jeffrey Milburn’s art added to their personal collections.
After the death of Andy Warhol in 1987, the Omni Art Movement was formally published in The Village Voice late in 1988.
Milburn continued to live in the city creating and staging various Omni Art performance installations over the next 4 years. This early work culminated in a one-man museum show of “The Universalist Group” at The Islip Art Museum, NY in 1991.
Milburn left NYC and began a journey across the country to fully understand what had just happened in the last few years of his life.
The death of Warhol (1987) and Keith Haring (1990) had been a tremendous loss to the art world. It brought many changes to Milburn personally. He looked for a place to regroup and reflect on Omni Art. He found it in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In a new studio, he continued to create and refine his art concepts.
Visual works during this period were finalized and photographed for presentation.
Once he had gained a full understanding of the purpose of his art, Jeffrey Milburn wrote a book documenting three decades of his work, experiences, and observations and thus, Omni Art - Language of Consciousness was published in 2007.
Milburn quotes Buckminster Fuller that, "90% of reality is invisible" and set off to prove it.
In 2005, with the internet as his stage, Milburn created The Omni Art Salon and moved online.
He followed the Warhol “Interview” example of connecting with society through dialogues with the trendsetters and thinkers of the day. He has connected with millions of people across the world, “invisibly”.
Jeffrey Milburn continues to develop new visual expressions of Omni Art through his studio work and performance installations.
The Omni Art Movement began as an exploration of the synthesis of human cultural and metaphysical evolution and as such, the movement and the art of Jeffrey Milburn were developed to communicate the human meta-evolutionary path to higher consciousness through art, music, and performance.
The moniker “Omni” refers to the ontological appreciation of the divine in all aspects and manifestations as well as the plastic arts, dance and movement, literature and music.
The Omni Art Movement Continues to Grow...
Milburn's art is an educational and artistic experience that is interactive and multi-faceted, designed to communicate the 35-year history of the Omni Art Movement and its message of understanding the universal structures within the cosmos that grow more relevant and useful as time goes on.