Painter, puppeteer, cartoonist, illustrator, set designer and pop cultural icon
Wayne White is an American artist, art director, illustrator, puppeteer and much, much more. Born and raised in Chattanooga, Wayne has used his memories of the south to create inspired works for film, television and the fine art world. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University Wayne traveled to New York City where he worked as an illustrator for The East Village Eye, New York Times, Raw Magazine and the Village Voice. In 1986 Wayne became a designer for the hit television show Pee Wee’s Playhouse and his work was awarded with three Emmy’s. After traveling to Los Angeles with his wife, Mimi Pond, Wayne continued to work in television and designed sets and characters for shows such as Shining Time Station, Beakman’s World, Riders In The Sky and Bill & Willis. He also worked in the music video industry winning Billboard and MTV Music Video Awards as an art director for seminal music videos including The Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Tonight, Tonight’ and Peter Gabriel’s ‘Big Time’.
More recently Wayne has had great success as a fine artist and has created paintings and public works that have been shown all over the world. His most successful works have been the world paintings featuring oversized, three dimensional text pain stakingly integrated into vintage landscape reproductions. The message of the paintings is often thought provoking and almost always humorous with Wayne pointing a finger at vanity, ego and his memories of the South. Wayne has also received great praise for several public works he has created recently including a successful show at Rice University where he built the world’s largest George Jones puppet head for a piece called ‘Big Lectric Fan To Keep Me Cool While I Sleep’.
In 2009 Wayne’s life and career were chronicled in an incredible 382 page monograph edited by Todd Oldham. The book features hundreds of images from Wayne’s earliest work as an illustrator all the way to his most recent fine art sculptures.
Since the book’s release Wayne has been traveling the country delivering an incredibly entertaining hour long talk where he discusses his life and work while making time for a little banjo and harmonica.