Wayne White, the multi-disciplinary artist, puppeteer, art director, set designer, and musician, comes to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art on Friday, Nov. 4. White is part of the “Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose” exhibition, which inhabits the museum through Dec. 31. The artist will narrate a slew of images, offering some banjo and harmonica tunes along the way.
This past weekend, Heron Arts debuted “Ass Kicking Contest” (previewed here), a father-son art show from acclaimed artist Wayne White and his son, Woodrow White. A complete spectacle of installation and fine art, the duo presented their respective bodies of work alongside a few massive puppets. The result was a varied display of kitsch and charm. Always finding ways to insert humor into his work, you can see Wayne’s excitement in the large-scale puppets that inhabit the space. They draw back to his time as set designer for Pee Wee’s Playhouse, where he received three Emmys for his innovative work. Bringing him back to his roots as a DIY craftsman and puppet-maker, Wayne’s figures range everywhere from a cubist bust resting along a mirror to an operational 15ft reclining cowboy trying to get his boot on.
Tomorrow night, American artist Wayne White will exhibit alongside his son, Woodrow White, for the first time in San Francisco at Heron Arts Gallery. In 1986, Wayne White earned international acclaim as the set and puppet designer of TV series Pee Wee’s Playhouse, for which he won three Emmy awards. “Ass Kicking Contest” brings the same slapstick and backwards charm that will be familiar to fans of his work on the show. Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee and now living and working in Los Angeles, he credits his Southern roots for his unique take on Americana and D.I.Y. style. In addition to witty word paintings like “Hoo Ha” and works on paper, he will also present animated puppets.
Rather than drawing a line to separate his personal and commercial work, LA-based artist Wayne White (featured in HF Vol. 19) brings the two full circle with his latest exhibition, “Invisible Ruler,” at NYC’s Joshua Liner Gallery. White has extensive credits as a set designer, puppeteer and director (he won multiple Emmys for his work on Pee-wee’s Playhouse), and his puppetry informs his oeuvre in both two and three-dimensional media. The title of the exhibition, according to the artist, alludes to the ways previous creative pursuits impact artists for the rest of their careers. Techniques learned in one medium come through in others in unexpected ways.