John Raux navigates the globe on foot at a pace set to notice the subtle movements and relationships that make up life. The inspiration of his artwork is found in the concept of movement; movement across boundaries: physical, spiritual, cultural, and time.
Raux’s work acts a bridge between reflective integration and contemplative speculation, referencing home, place, diaspora, and opposing dichotomies, thus attempting to reflect a wholistic world view. Forms emerge through cathartic mark making, mediative revision and layered brush strokes, allowing memory to inspire color, forms and movements in an effort to provoke the viewer’s own set of experiences and personal stories.
The work, a mixture of response to culture, environment, and storytelling, weaves together personal memories and past pilgrimages. It is also an invitation to viewers to mediate, be vulnerable, and ask their own questions. Asking questions about belonging, home, concepts of normality, and the friction between the familiar and unfamiliar.
Raux’s process of art making invites evolution and growth. The work that starts with a question, continues through evolution and process, culminates in a series of abstract work that tells a story. It is the culmination of pilgrimage, reflection, and process meant to provoke by sharing a beauty found through travel, vulnerability, and empathy. To expand and create a moment of pause or rest. To breathe life back into the soul through exploration, play, the beautiful and sometimes the ugly.
For travelers, the in between spaces become home.
(not so much the spaces, but the movement itself.)
For rooted people, the spaces between moving become home.
(so much so that home itself starts to move.)
For travelers and rooted people, the movement reflects each life.
The lives create their story together.
John Raux was born in Dakar, Senegal but grew up in Kansas City. He studied illustration in Los Angeles at ArtCenter. After college he created a participatory gallery and screamed in the metal band James Dean Trio while working in the construction industry. His frustration with the daily grind and his love of new experiences led him to hike across America on the PCT in 2007. Upon returning to civilization, John started making paintings in response to travel experiences. In 2010 he crossed Nepal and much of India on a mountain bike. He did the same across Europe in 2012. Each new journey was cultivated into a new series of paintings. In 2013 he visited the rift valley in Africa. He eventually returned to Kansas City to found the Forum for Ink’s Middle of the Map Fest.
"My soul loves good surprises. My life's a pilgrimage of my love. I make art to poetically share my transformations and journeys. I care deeply about what moves culture and actively explore the wider world for inspiration and unforeseen beauty." John Raux
He has been a resident artist at Takt in Berlin, Jaaga in Bangalore, BNIM and the Drugstore in Kansas City. He received the ArtsKC inspiration award in 2014. His work is currently represented by Weinberger Fine Art. John is living and making new work in Kansas City, Missouri while planning a collaborative exhibition for early 2017 and plotting out new journeys abroad.