Wayne White is one of those artists I kinda sorta knew about, peripherally. Now I feel like he’s an old pal. What a great biopic, and what an artist par excellence. It’s clear that he has a need to create – his output is constant, prolific, and takes many forms. He works with whatever is at hand, and is more concerned with the impact of the piece than with a polished final product.
Think of the Pee Wee’s Playhouse sets and puppets. These were wacky and goofy and fun. They were the result of experimentation and making-do, of working the materials and lo-fi effects for all they were worth. The playfulness is infectious and the humor genuine. How about the LBJ mask? Lo-fi in the extreme, but also a triumph of imagination and expression.
Which is all well and good. But it does seem a little bit odd to me that he states that his purpose in making art is to bring more beauty into the world. His pieces don’t strike me as particularly beautiful – their strength always seems to reside in ingenuity, surprise, wit, fun…but not beauty, whether in a conventional or non-conventional sense. What he really brings us, I think, is humor and genuine irreverence. Not something manufactured to produce an effect, but a real piss-take on the Art establishment. Bravo.