Wayne White

and the Pathway of Luck

Having worked as a cartoonist, set-designer, animator and puppeteer, Wayne White’s contemporary art career comes with a very different set of baggage.

By Max Olijnyk APR 2014

Hollywood-based, Tennessee-born artist Wayne White’s word paintings are a celebration of duality. His bright, three-dimensional letters sit in the tranquil, somewhat trashy confines of thrift store landscape paintings, forming words that proclaim something that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with where they have found themselves.

Ranging from sly digs at the art world (Maybe Now I’ll Get The Respect I So Richly Deserve) and unsettling observations (We Were Partyin At The Lake And This Girl Starts Freakin Out) to creepily simple (Gotta), White’s word paintings are cannily imagined and skilfully executed. And they’re just the start of it.

Nearly two years on from the release of Beauty is Embarrassing, a documentary that focuses on White’s amazing career as a cartoonist, set designer, animator, puppeteer and contemporary artist, we had a chance to ask him some questions over a crackly telephone line.

You’ve compared your southern upbringing to living in a wine press. Do you think that wanting to escape somewhere breeds a certain kind of motivation that wouldn’t have been there if you grew up in, say, New York?
I always say I was formed more by negative things than positive things. It was negative reinforcement you know: what not to do, how not to act, what I don’t want. I didn’t have any tangible thing around me that I did want, so I reacted against things as a lot of adolescents do.

Do you think that over time you’ve become more at peace with he South? Or do you still feel that reaction to it?
I like to think you grow a little calmer and wiser as you... Subscribe to read this article in full

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