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THE OPENFLOW - A vision of time


The OpenFlow by James

The OpenFlow is the name I give to my painting style. It refers to non-dualistic philosophies like Taoism and Buddhism.

Open suggests an attitude of openness and receptivity to welcome the events that come to my mind. Open calls the Taoist notion of Wu Wei which can be translated as "non-action" or "non-intervention" .The gesture of painting must be synchronized with the influx that shakes the neural chain of thought. It should not be hindered by a desire for results.

Flow refers to that state of supreme experience of flow found in music: jazz, rap and high performance in sport. It reflects a mental state reached by a person when 'she is totally absorbed in a task or activity that makes her feel a sense of happiness and accomplishment.

OpenFlow - the style of the painter James Arax - PP55 performance presence painting with Toulu in Paris 2011Performance painting in Paris - Bibliothèque de France with Toulu in 2011

Long verticals runs -  strings of a harp.

It finds its best expression in the long vertical runs that structure most of my paintings, especially in the  artworks of the performance Presence Painting.

I exploit the sliding of the liquid paint on my vertical canvases. The drips are like the strings of a harp, I'm playing a unique score with the drips. They build a time frame to inscribe the events that present themselves to me on the canvas. Finally, they define a pictorial grammar: elements of memories, writings, notes, quotes, architecture, territories, landscape, figures, body drawing,…My OpenFlow style is liquid, fluid and fast to respond to the instantaneous sensations and thoughts that cross me whenI paint. To respond to information that crosses a synapse between two neurons. Constructing or copying an image is deeply boring for me.


Black ink on a large paper by James AraxBody line 2 by James Arax -" Women series 1997" Blue&black ink on a large paper


Each painting is both a performance and a challenge. I paint also to access these moments of grace.

James Arax 2022

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