Wayne White is an American artist, art director, illustrator, and puppeteer. Born and raised in Chattanooga, White 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, The New York Times, Raw Magazine, and the Village Voice. In 1986, White began designing for the acclaimed television show Pee-wee’s Playhouse, for which he was awarded three Emmys. After traveling to Los Angeles with his wife, Mimi Pond, White 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. White 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, White embarked on a fine art career, creating paintings and public works exhibited both nationally and internationally. White is most well known for his word paintings featuring oversized, three-dimensional text painstakingly integrated into vintage landscape reproductions. The message of the paintings is often thought provoking and almost always humorous, with White pointing a finger at vanity, ego, and his memories of the South. White has also received attention for several public works he has created recently, including a successful exhibition 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 a 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. In 2012, the artist’s life and career was documented in the feature film Beauty is Embarrassing, directed by Neil Berkeley. Born in 1957, Wayne White currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.