With Wayne White
SUNDANCE 6 | THUR NOV 8 | 6:15 PM | Q&A
Director: Neil Berkeley
Cinematographer: Neil Berkeley, Chris Bradley
Screenwriter: Chris Bradley, Kevin Klauber and Neil Berkeley
Editor: Chris Bradley
Composer: Tim Rutili
Cast: Wayne White, Matt Groening, Paul Reubens, Todd Oldham, Mimi Pond
Running time: 90 min.
Part biography, part live performance, Beauty Is Embarrassing tells the irreverent and inspiring story of visual artist and raconteur Wayne White. White began his career in New York as a cartoonist, where he quickly found success as one of the creators of Pee-wee’s Playhouse. He went on to design and animate for children’s shows such as Beakman’s World and music videos for The Smashing Pumpkins and Peter Gabriel.
From there, White’s career stalled. He couldn’t find satisfying work and floundered for a decade, mostly painting in his basement workshop. It wasn’t until the mid-2000s that one of his paintings caught the eye of the Los Angeles art world, and his new career was born. White’s word paintings, featuring pithy and often sarcastic text statements finely crafted onto vintage landscape paintings, have made him a darling of collectors. White had a well-received show at the Rice Gallery in Houston in 2009.
Berkeley’s film is a tribute to White’s great sense of humor, creativity and general sense of adventure. Los Angeles Magazine’s critic wrote: “This movie ought to be required viewing, not just for Oscar voters but for every aspiring artist wondering how to build a life doing what they love. Beauty is Embarrassing isn’t simply a testament to the talents of Wayne White; it’s a snapshot of the ways in which creativity and the business of daily living can be inseparably fused.”
Community Partner: Rice Gallery