From clowns to saints, Wren Perrot’s captivating art

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Despite moving to Wilsonville from Austin, Texas before her Junior year of High School Senior Wren Perrot quickly became a staple of the art community at Wilsonville High School. Her fantastic art is instantly recognizable by its vibrant colors; slender, stylized figures; and specific, bold imagery. This imagery has shifted as she transitioned from Junior year painting to Advanced Art. Out are the depictions of clowns and in are huge acrylic paintings that reference nature and religious figures, yet Perrot’s unique style is still unmistakably her. Here, she discusses her new pieces and transitions her style has undergone in the past and undergoing in the  present.

What is your art 4 concentration? My concentration in Art 4 is bird and saint symbolism. If it isn’t visible in some of my work then look closer.

Describe the story behind your day of the dead piece? My Day of the Dead piece depicts the Russian patron saint of the spread of Christianity, St. Olga of Kiev. Olga is presented as the cruelest saint due to her unruly vengeance against the Drevlians, the tribe which slaughtered her husband, Igor of Kiev. Olga’s merciless attacks escalated from torturing and murdering the noble Drevlians, to eventually committing arson with the Drevlian’s “appeasement” birds they gave Olga, which she sent back to their village with burning sticks tied to their feet. Any surviving Drevlians would be slaughtered and murdered. I didn’t use her as my subject to display condonement for her actions, but rather to display her raw sorrow and fury. She reminded me of my mother (who is a widow), so in a way I am celebrating my mother and her emotions from her immense loss.

Last year a lot of clowns were featured in your art, now you’ve made a shift, what triggered that shift? This year I’ve made a shift to birds, saints and religious undertones as to represent me and as a nod to Texas’ religious nature.

Do you think your move from Texas to Oregon influenced your art? On my 120~ hour move to Oregon, I saw and experienced things both disturbing and beautiful. These experiences are dashed a bit into my work’s expression and vibe.

Do you think growing up in Texas Influenced your art? Immensely. The vibrant colors are a southern trademark, as well as the folk art vibe much of my work.

Would you consider any of your pieces controversial? My first ever Day of the Dead piece junior year and my Day of the Dead piece this year are both considered controversial. My first piece was considered controversial due to people’s blind fear of clowns and their bad reputation. My second piece is of a vengeful saint who killed hundreds. It isn’t my aim to be controversial, I just seem to cross boundaries I didn’t know existed.

How has your art evolved in the past two years?

The more I focused on styles such as Klimt and religious renaissance artwork, the more I found my own inner voice. The expressive nature and disproportionate beings helped me bring out my true style, or at least have aided me on my stylistic pathway.

What artists inspire you the most? The artists who have impacted me the most are Gustav Klimt and David Pryor Adickes. Their abstract nature and vibrant colors displayed in their works have inspired me in my own work. Without these artists I wouldn’t have found my style nor the type of art that expresses my intentions and my own voice.

Where do you want to take your art in the following year? In these next years I hope to focus my artwork on nature and the creatures that coexist on this expansive planet. Art is my true form of self-expression and even though I am not necessarily studying it in college next year I will still find time to devote to its progress and my own self-fulfillment.