The Austin Chronicle

Wayne White's Big Art Adventure Arrives on TV Tonight

By Jessi Cape, January 21, 2013, 2:45pm, Picture in Picture

An in-depth look at the weird world of Wayne White, Beauty Is Embarrassing bounces along the emotional spectrum from hilarity to poignancy as director Neil Berkeley makes plotted pit-stops in White's native rural Tennessee, NYC, and L.A.

Guided by the premise that one should hold in highest esteem the humor so often banned from the fine art world, Wayne White's endeavors have already touched the lives of millions of television watchers in his career of three decades and counting.

From Pee Wee's Playhouse to his banjo pickin' riffs to his most recent jaunt in acclaimed word paintings, the master puppeteer embodies the spirit of absurdity. Often irreverent (an F-bomb drinking game, anyone?) and consistently brilliant, this one man art world reinvigorates the notion that life is short, so we should make beauty and do what we love as long as we can.

When you walk away from the documentary feeling inspired – and you will – White and Berkeley have launched a free app to get you started on your own word art.

Stanley Tucci hosts tonight's PBS Independent Lens premiere of Beauty Is Embarrassing on KLRU at 9pm.

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