Wayne White is a multi-talented American artist, art director, illustrator, and puppeteer. He grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and has drawn inspiration from his memories of the South to create remarkable works for the film, television, and fine art worlds.
After completing his studies at Middle Tennessee State University, Wayne began working as an illustrator in New York City for esteemed publications such as the East Village Eye, New York Times, Raw Magazine, and the Village Voice. In 1986, he became the designer for the popular television show Pee-wee’s Playhouse, earning three Emmys for his exceptional work. Wayne then relocated to Los Angeles with his wife, Mimi Pond, where he continued to work in television designing sets and characters for Shining Time Station, Beakman’s World, Riders In The Sky, and Bill & Willis. He also served as an art director for some of the most iconic music videos of the time, including The Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Tonight, Tonight’ and Peter Gabriel’s ‘Big Time,’ winning Billboard and MTV Music Video Awards.
In recent years, Wayne has gained considerable success as a fine artist, creating stunning paintings and public works that have been exhibited around the world. His most popular pieces involve oversized, three-dimensional text meticulously integrated into vintage landscape reproductions. These paintings often convey thought-provoking messages, tinged with humor, as Wayne cleverly addresses issues such as vanity, ego, and his memories of the South. He has also gained recognition for his public works, including a show at Rice University, where he built the world’s largest George Jones puppet head for a piece titled ‘Big Lectric Fan To Keep Me Cool While I Sleep.’
In 2009, Wayne’s life and work were celebrated in a 382-page monograph edited by Todd Oldham. The book features numerous images, from Wayne’s earliest work as an illustrator to his most recent fine art sculptures. Since the book’s publication, Wayne has toured the country, delivering an entertaining hour-long talk about his life and career, complete with banjo and harmonica playing.