James Flynn’s paintings question the nature of perception. His optokinetic works aim to destabilize the viewer’s understanding of image and color, creating a visual field in which color and image blend optically. When experiencing his work, perception of both image and color are dependent on one’s proximity and position in relation to the piece. As directional angles of ambient light change, so does the viewer’s experience of color intensity and surface reflectivity. Manipulation of line values, color harmonies, and spatial characteristics of chromatic induction also add to their optical effects.
“The illusory nature of the optical effects combined with the elusiveness of color reveal the dynamism of the viewer's ongoing organization of the visual field and, as such, suggests the interactive, ever-changing qualities of our perception,” says Flynn.
In 1989, Flynn sought out Mexican Surrealist Pedro Friedeberg, whom he considers himself to be a lifelong student of. He also counts abstract minimalist Peter Lobello (for whom he worked as a studio assistant, 2003 - 2007), Victor and Yvaral Vasarely, and Georges Seurat among his influences.
A native and current resident of New Orleans, LA, Flynn spent a good part of his life as a mariner. In fact, for 23 years, he piloted ships on the Mississippi River for the Port of New Orleans while maintaining a printmaking studio. In 2005, however, Hurricane Katrina wipes out his studio and his life’s work, ultimately forcing him to innovate his current method of fusing printmaking techniques with his painting.