Sunday, April 8, 2012
Beauty Is Embarrassing
Beauty Is Embarrassing was a really interesting documentary about artist Wayne White. His first big break came when he designed the set for Pee Wee's Playhouse, as well as provided voiceovers for some of the recurring characters. Through the years he's done a lot of interesting work, maybe most notably the "word paintings" like the one above, which involve superimposing block text over thrift store landscape paintings. We saw White as a child; seeing his mother's zany decorations and artwork around his childhood home makes it pretty clear where he found his early influences. White currently lives in Tennessee with his wife, a successful comic book artist, and his two kids, both burgeoning artists as well.
I thought Beauty Is Embarrassing was a really effective documentary, in that in introduced me to a subject I knew nothing about it, and made it interesting and accessible. I never watched Pee Wee's Playhouse nor had I seen any of White's art, but I still really enjoyed learning about his life. I also really enjoyed the artwork displayed throughout the movie and appreciated the message that art doesn't have to be taken seriously all the time - there is joy and beauty in the absurd, and it's OK to laugh at it. 8 out of 10.
Here's a good sampling of the word paintings, too.