Beauty is Embarrassing

I recently had the pleasure of obtaining and watching a documentary about a visual artist who has helped to shape the style, humor, and vision of my generation and beyond: Wayne White, in Beauty is Embarrassing.

As one of those many artists working behind the scenes but making quite an impact, Mr. White has been there almost my whole life getting his hands dirty on so many things that I have enjoyed and will always remember. The biggest, of course, is the huge role he had in the sets, puppetry and humor behind Pee-wee’s Playhouse when I was a kid. That show was certainly one of the highlights of my Saturday mornings (and, as a cartoon lover to this very day, I LIVED for Saturday mornings).




That zany, whimsical style found itself in music videos later in my youth, like Smashing Pumpkins’ (another of my favorites) Tonight, Tonight video. These great television moments were happening as Mr. White simultaneously built a legend in the painting world with his amazing, thought-provoking (and often laugh-inducing) series of words painted onto landscapes. A multi-faceted artist, he is also known for his larger-than-life sculpture and ability to make puppets the size of a small building. Not to mention, the guy can really rock out on a banjo!

I can’t say enough about my admiration for Wayne White*, except that I wish I had known more about him before seeing his entertaining and eye-opening documentary, which I highly recommend! I have much respect for artists with a sense of humor about themselves, who have a solid voice, and who figure out many successful ways to use it. See more at: or, if you’re so inclined, AIGA is hosting a screening of Beauty is Embarrassing this Thursday night:

*If you are one of the lucky to be attending this year’s Y Conference this coming weekend, Wayne White is slated as one of the many speakers. I will not be attending, unfortunately, but will really regret missing this opportunity to meet him.  – Jen