director Neil Berkeley
Know who Wayne White is? Then you were one more up on me before I first read about Beauty Is Embarrassing, a documentary dedicated to the artist, puppeteer, animator, set designer, and family man.
White is most famous for being one of the key set designers and puppeteers on Pee-wee’s Playhouse in the 1980’s, director of Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time” and The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight” music videos, and now for his “word paintings”. The word paintings are a series that he’s done where he picks up a thrift store landscape painting and then adds very stylized and humorous words towering across the landscape in a comic, surrealist style.
Hailing originally from Tennessee, the film recounts his childhood, his college years, his move to New York, work on Pee-wee, marriage, children, and eventual life in Los Angeles. He also performs with his banjo quite nicely in some “old-timey music” tunes.
He’s a really cool guy. A kind of guy you’d know or would like to know. Inventive, talented, clever, funny, and utterly down to earth.
I’m glad to be aware of him. If it sounds interesting, this documentary is worthwhile. If not, no worries.