Beautiful art from The Mind’s Eye: The Art of Omni , a celebration of one of the best science magazines of all time.
The Mind’s Eye: The Art of Omni / powerHouse Books / Via powerhousebooks.com
When I first saw the announcement for a new science magazine back in 1978, I was intrigued and excited. Omni promised to fulfill my geek girl dreams with plenty of science articles written for the layperson along with hard-hitting science fiction from all the best writers. The magazine wasn't just about science, it was about the future—and I wanted to know as much about the future as possible. I wanted to be the future. Indeed, at the time I was studying Criminology under Laurin A. Wollan, Jr., a Futurist at Florida State University.
But I have to admit it was the mind-blowing artwork that initially drew me to become a Charter Member and one of the earliest subscribers. I have every single issue that was published—I even bought those black slipcases with gold lettering to house them, specifically designed and made for Omni. This began my serious love affair with SF short stories, art and magazines. Yes, there were other less-serious (let's call them puppy) loves before Omni but this was my grown-up introduction to the potential of science fiction.
It was within the pages of Omni that I was first introduced to so many visionaries—including the Swiss artist H.R. Giger, who would design the sets for what would become for me a life-changing movie, Ridley Scott's Alien. Omni also provided amazing photographs; close-ups of the internal workings of computers and other technology that eventually inspired me to migrate to Computer Science while still in graduate school studying psychobiology and crime prevention. The images didn't just show the world of outer space but inner space as well, something that appealed to my insatiable sense of curiosity.
Some of the artwork was so amazingly mind-blowing that I would buy an extra newsstand copy so I could cut out the art and put it up on my walls. The artwork, along with my punk-rock posters, transformed my dull college apartment into a vision of what the future could be.
So you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover The Mind's Eye: The Art of Omni , edited by Jeremy Frommer and Rick Schwartz. It showcases some of what made Omni so great: an essential uncommercial strangeness and a willingness embrace the alien that set the tone for the times and made things cross over from "cult" to "pop culture."
Here are some of my favorite images from the book.
1. David Jackson, “Spaceships,” February 1979:
The Mind's Eye: The Art of Omni / powerHouse Books / Via powerhousebooks.com
I really like that at first glance the whale still presents as "whale," before you realize it too is some kind of spaceship. There's also a kind of retro nod to the 1950s that appeals; those small bronze spaceships definitely exist at a different level of tech. But it may be the texture here that I particularly love—not just in the spaceships but in the details of the waves, which contrast nicely with the ridges on, for example, the whale ship.