Roxanne Sauriol Hauenherm aka. Roxy Peroxyde Talks About her Art and Life

by OVERSTANDARD

Based in Montreal, Canada, Roxanne Sauriol aka Roxy Peroxyde, is a self taught artist who has received international recognition for her paintings, as well as being exhibited and collected, in Europe, America and Canada. While each of her pieces conveys differing personal and existential messages, she describes women as being the common denominator and an extension of herself. Sauriol begins her artistic process by developing concepts before photographing models. These photos serve as a reference for the final composition.

“Britney Spears” by Roxy Peroxyde

What’s it like living in Montreal?

I am currently planning my escape. But jokes aside, it’s an easy city to live in if you’re a broke 21y old single mom aspiring to be an artist. I can’t complain, health care, cheap rent, public transit, open minded people, but I am in fact planning on living somewhere where the climate doesn’t compromise your mental health or isn’t life threatening if you lock yourself outside your apartment.

I feel you on the weather part. Do you have any warm places in mind?

Most likely somewhere in the States, Miami or LA is what we have in mind. I was in Miami for art Basel showing my Britney piece at Scope with Mortal Machine gallery and I had a bit of an epiphany.

“The Scream” by Roxy Peroxyde

When and why did you start to paint?

I started painting when I was in maternity leave, breastfeeding with one hand and painting with the other. I basically started to paint to temporarily escape the abusive relationship I found myself in and have something that actually belonged to me and me only. It was the only place I wasn’t at war with that horrible horrible guy and where I could express my individuality freely and guilt free. Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t want it to come off as a sad story but that is just the truth. That’s probably also why I chose this subject, these women are basically all “me”.

I see, so in a sense you’re actually painting your alter ego?

Not necessarily my alter ego, she exist in a parallel part of my life. She’s the one who was tending bars during my twenties and she’s an animal I’d rather keep in the past hahaha. But in a way each painting is something that I want to say without actually having to say it. Visual arts are convenient for that, it’s up to the viewers interpretation so you can get away with almost anything. I like that.

“Portrait of an annoyed lady” by Roxy Peroxyde

There is a sense of humour and “I dont give a fuck” in some of your paintings, where do you think that comes from?

Oh yeah!? NICE!! I’m very happy about that statement, it most definitely comes from the fact that this is how I am in my daily life. I genuinely don’t give a fuck. In a good way, in a “do no harm” kind of way. Let me be me, I’ll be the first letting you be you. This is the only thing I am asking of people. No compromises. 

How did you come up with the name “Roxy Peroxyde”?

Back in high school, I was a hardcore punk rocker with bleached blond hair, and loved the band Subhumans, they had a song called Peroxide and that was  basically me. It stuck with me, here are the lyrics:

Peroxide girl with a false ID
Lost and lonely she can t see
Peroxide hair and burnt out eyes
Blinded by so many lies
Peroxide! Peroxide!
Because nobody cares?
What do you do?
You dye your hair
Her hair was just a boring mess
She had never known success
Saw the punks they didn’t care
Walked around with peroxide hair
Peroxide! Peroxide!
Because nobody cares?
What do you do?
You dye your hair
Now she s out of trouble ’cause her hair is white
And the punks all think she s all right
But she is blind her face is red
Peroxide soaked into her head
Peroxide! Peroxide!
Because nobody cares?
What do you do?
You dye your hair
.”

“Your unsolicited dick pics” by Roxy Peroxyde

When did you develop your unique style?

Did I? Haha Still and always a work in progress but for the most part, a lot of trial and error.  I’m still learning literally every single time I finish a painting. I’m only focused on how to improve the next one. In some way, I’m just pursuing something that can never be achieved and that’s probably what makes it work. If you’re 100% satisfied with the work, you leave no room for improvement and development and that’s a rookie mistake, I’ve stagnated for most of my carrer because of that. But to answer your question I think I actually clicked when I decided to stop thinking about other peoples’ perspective and painted purely selfishly. There is so much power in not giving a fuck and just doing you for the sake of doing you. I think that is the secret sauce to all successful artists (or anyone). I try to care as little as possible about what people might think, the only focus is on me, the way I see the world and the things I want to say. It’s harder than it looks.

Who are your two favorite artists, and why? (Past and present.)

Christian Rex Van Minnen is the first I think of every time someone asks that question. He’s just irrefutably superior technically and creatively to all other human beings (past and present). I have profound respect for Daniel Arsham, he’s an actual genius, Kehinde Wiley is also on my list, I also have a soft spot for Ignasi Monreal and his very subtle surrealistic imagination, same for Martine Johanna, also love Mauro C Martinez’s absurd and ballsy sense of humour. They all live rent free in my head.

“Luke 23:34” by Roxy Peroxyde

What inspires you?

I hate this question hahahaha. Literally everything, but obviously people is the main source of inspiration. 

At around 2020 your style changes a bit, whats the reason for that?

I started working 6 days a week 9h a day, but long story short I have an extremely supportive and hardworking boyfriend who whipped my ass to get me to work and take myself seriously. It worked. He taught me a lot about work ethic, and gave me some of the confidence and insight I needed to push my career to the next level. Surrounding yourself with good people is key to happiness, success and anything you can think of. It’s also a lesson you can learn the hard way. People can literally end up dead, mentally scarred or in jail when they’re not careful with who they surround themselves with. Aside from knowing yourself, this is the single most important thing in life, but both work hand in hand.

Shoutout to your boyfriend. Does he sometimes mention the fact that you’re starting to get more and more recognition as an artist? Or how do you think he feels, when he sees all your hard work paying off? 

He’s the first one to recognize my merits and brag about me to his friends or parents hahah, he’s very aware of how far I’ve came in the last couple years and knows how hard I’m working and how much it’s paying off. I believe he takes a lot of pride in any of his friends success in general and is not shy to admit and celebrate other peoples accomplishments when credit is due.

“Waiting for Godot” by Roxy Peroxyde

What do you do in your spare time?

I’m not sure how to answer that. What most people do, hangout with my friends till 6am and ending up in sketchy illegal raves, spend time with my four cats and parrot, raise my teenage daughter, eat spaghetti more than you would ever believe I can eat, read as much as I can, complain about winter.

Favorite song, tv-show and movie?

Song: It’s impossible to choose, I have such eclectic taste, and I’m very picky when it comes to music, it can affect the way you feel more than any other form of art. 
Tv: Seinfeld (the only show I can rewatch over and over)
Movies: Interstellar, The Arrival, Hereditary and Midsommar are the ones I can think of right away and are absolute masterpieces. 

“Lucretia” by Roxy Peroxyde

I get a psychedelic vibe when I look at some of your paintings. What’s your favorite marijuana strain or psychedelic drug?

Omg, lol pot, no. Nightmare, I can’t do it, I get completely wrapped up in my head, can’t escape, absolutely hate it. DMT is probably the craziest mind-blowing experience I’ve ever had. Love it, I do it once in a while, it’s a good reset button for your brain. Other than that, microdosing shrooms helped me tremendously in the midst of my recovery from that abusive ex I was referring to earlier, really helped me with finding out who I was and understand/heal my ptsd. Psychedelics should actually be taken seriously by science. I don’t understand all that fuss and stigma around it, it can heal and help you. If you don’t want them, don’t take em. But stop telling people what they can and can’t do with their own minds. That’s nuts. 

I agree with you 100%. Here in Denmark there’s talk about treating people that suffers from anxiety and depression with MDMA. What’s your take on that? 

My boyfriend works in the medical field and the first thing he learned in medical school was : “Do no harm” I’m no scientist but I believe that if a solution against any form of suffering exists, it shouldn’t be taken away from the people who need it. I also believe people should be able to do what they want with their mind and bodies if it doesn’t harm others. Having a drug problem and spiralling out of control and dragging your family down with it is a whole other conversation, but we’re talking about something else here.

Contemporary art or older art?

Both.

“Abyss” by Roxy Peroxyde
“Revelation 21:4” by Roxy Peroxyde

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