Thursday, October 10, 2013

Interview with Wayne White

Read my interview with artist Wayne White where we talk about puppets on The Believer Logger, Part 1 and Part 2.

"If you have watched Pee-wee’s Playhouse, Peter Gabriel’s video for “Big Time,” or the Smashing Pumpkins’ video for “Tonight, Tonight,” you’ve seen Wayne White’s art. White’s ingenuity and his extensive body of work are becoming better known through the 2009 monograph Maybe Now I’ll Get the Respect I So Richly Deserve, and the 2012 documentary about White, Beauty is Embarrassing, directed by Neil Berkeley.

As an artist who works in many mediums—painting, sculpture, print-making, drawing, stop-motion animation, and installation—puppets have also been a constant throughout White’s career. While the importance of puppets to White is evident in the monograph and documentary, I wanted to find out how White became interested in puppets and to learn more about his influences. In all of his work White is inspired by a wide-range of sources, from pop culture to his close study of artists. Drawing upon these he creates unique and inviting works and, when given the chance, impressive installations, as he achieved with BIG LECTRIC FAN TO KEEP ME COOL WHILE I SLEEP at Houston’s Rice University Art Gallery in 2009 and BIG LICK BOOM at Roanoke’s Taubman Museum of Art in 2012.  

In August of 2012, a few weeks before the national release of Beauty is Embarrassing, I spoke to White by phone. He was in Los Angeles and I was in North Carolina. As our conversation began he mentioned that he was drinking a Coca-Cola."

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