The Studio Interview
Pulling up to Bryon’s house, the lawn is manicured and the porch is cleared, so it is no surprise that the orderliness continues inside the house. Perdue’s family home doubles as his space to create. Art magazines are fanned out on the entryway table, while floral scents accompany soft music, creating a cozy welcome. Everything seems to have its own place while we walk through the kitchen and into the open living room. It only takes a few of his big paintings to decorate the walls. The room opens up to his three year old daughter’s own corner, decked out with art supplies and her own desk, toys, a basketball goal, and her own art display. A six foot fold up table sits at the back of the room, where Bryon does his drawing and cutting while sharing time with his wife and daughter. A full time job with Oklahoma Health Care Authority and serving on the board of Inclusion in Art keeps him busy. He combines art and family time into his tight schedule, which works to his advantage. His daughter Frances loves to watch him work, and they enjoy having conversations about it.
You can tell Bryon has an overall sense of organization. Whether it’s carefully using an x-acto knife to cut tiny shapes out of paper over and over again, or the careful placement of the fragments onto a shaved down painting, the keen attention to detail is the most mind-blowing aspect of his artwork. His ability to navigate the blade through the tiny lines of paper is mesmerizing, requiring plenty of patience, practice, and precision. Coordination comes naturally to the artist. Even the garage is neatly organized, complete with little bottles of paints in rainbow order. “That actually wasn’t on purpose,” he says with a smirk. In one corner of the garage, he has painted the walls and made a dedicated space for taking photographs of his work. He intelligently designates places for each step in the total process of making art.
After visiting with Bryon, it was interesting to learn about the significance of science in his work. Specifically, particle physics. I’ll Google it for you: “Particle physics is the study of the fundamental particles of the universe,” or in other words, the study of really, really small stuff. Knowing this helps bring a higher level of understanding to his experiments with patterns, calculations, and accuracy.
The best advice he’d been given is “basically that nothing comes easy and to keep working hard.” With many upcoming events, Bryon Perdue’s hard work seems to paying off. Currently working with two artists for the mentoring program with Inclusion in Art, the show is set to exhibit at Oklahoma Contemporary in October. If you are in the Arizona area this fall, stop by the Tubac Center of the Arts exhibition: First Nations Contemporary Biennial, where Bryon’s work was selected to exhibit in a national juried show.
Written and interviewed by Liz Boudreaux