Few artists jump from painting to puppeteering to sculpture to banjo with much ease. Wayne White makes it a daily habit.
And he wins awards for his work. Emmys and MTV music awards and so on.
Remember Pee-Wee’s Playhouse? That’s him.
And the Peter Gabriel’s music video, Big Time? Yep, that’s him again.
Wayne White started making puppets in college to get out of an exam somewhere in Tennessee. Or something like that. Pretty soon his work could be found in major publications across New York City—and the world.
Where did he go from there? Everywhere. Find out more on May 16 when he introduces a documentary about his life—BEAUTY IS EMBARRASSING. This may be Columbus, Ohio’s one chance for face-to-face conversation with Wayne White—an artist of huge range and even huger ideas. The phrase larger-than-life could’ve been created just for him. It’s work with crazy-kazaam, question-yourself, and have-a-good-laugh all rolled into one.
This is your chance. To laugh and go all wide-eyed and maybe even sing along with one of the most popular artists and designers of our time.
About The Film
Documentary filmmaker and designer Neil Berkeley provides a lively, intimate portrait of White and his world, showing us how an insatiable creative spirit has dominated every aspect of his life, from his art to his friendships to his marriage with fellow artist, Mimi Pond.
BEAUTY IS EMBARRASSING is built around an autobiographical show White performs for a theater audience. Berkeley uses this performance as a springboard to explore the many facets of White’s life and work. He also draws on interviews with colleagues and admirers, vintage home movies, behind-the-scenes footage of Pee Wee’s Playhouse, and more.
About Wayne White
Wayne White is an American artist, art director, illustrator, puppeteer and much, much more. Born and raised in Chattanooga, Wayne has used his memories of the south to create inspired works for film, television and the fine art world. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University Wayne traveled to New York City where he worked as an illustrator for The East Village Eye, New York Times, Raw Magazine and the Village Voice.
In 1986, Wayne became a designer for the hit television show Pee Wee’s Playhouse and his work was awarded with three Emmy’s. Wayne continued to work in television, designing sets and characters for shows such as Shining Time Station, Beakman’s World, Riders In The Sky and Bill & Willis. He also worked in the music video industry winning Billboard and MTV Music Video Awards as an art director for seminal music videos including The Smashing Pumpkins’ Tonight, Tonight and Peter Gabriel’s Big Time.
More recently, Wayne has had great success as a fine artist and has created paintings and public works that have been shown all over the world. His most successful works have featured oversized, three-dimensional text painstakingly integrated into vintage landscape reproductions. The message is often thought provoking and almost always humorous —Wayne points a finger at vanity, ego, and his memories of the South. Wayne has also received great praise for several public works he has created recently including a successful show at Rice University where he built the world’s largest George Jones puppet head for a piece called Big Lectric Fan To Keep Me Cool While I Sleep.
In 2009 Wayne’s life and career were chronicled in an incredible 382-page monograph edited by Todd Oldham. The book features hundreds of images from Wayne’s earliest work as an illustrator all the way to his most recent fine art sculptures.