Wayne White
These last few years have seen the proliferation of those 140-characters messages that use cheap philosophy to try inspiring you. Luckily, for the last twenty years, Wayne White has been perfecting typographical dramas that aim to the opposite result.
There must be something somewhere that goes against all those T-shirts, mugs and tote bags with inspirational messages from Mr. Wonderful and co. Thinking about it, it was almost better when cheap mass inspiration came from self-help books and Paulo Coelho. Then, at least, we would talk about books with complex ideas, not about aphorisms that intended to change your life by simply taking a sip of coffee from the office machine. It's okay though. If you die inside a little every time you read phrases like "The'r no one like you" or "Happiness is written with a big smile on" written in cheerful typography and pastel colors, you urgently need a good shot of Wayne White.
If Mr. Wonderful really existed, his nemesis would look a lot like this artist born in 1957 in Chattanooga (Tennessee) and currently living in Los Angeles. He is known, in the United States, for his work on the production design of the legendary Pee-wee' s Playhouse television show, and for his involvement, shortly thereafter, in iconic video clips such as Peter Gabriel's Big Time or Tonight, Tonight by The Smashing Pumpkins. His approach to the art world has even been portrayed in the documentary Beauty is Embarrassing, directed by Neil Berkeley in 2013. And while this may have been the summit of any other artist's career, for White it was the perfect excuse to give one of the most interesting TED Talks in recent years: a talk full of irony and malice titled You're Supposed To Act All Impressed.
You can already tell where Wayne White's artistic vision is going to. He himself usually refers to his paintings as typographical dramas, since they usually depict a rural landscape or an infinite sky worth hanging in your grandmother's living room, counterposed to a phrase that seems generated by Paint's worst nightmare. Nonetheless, this irony is based on high painting techniques. The artist started working on lithography, but in recent years he has moved directly to oil on canvas for his landscapes and to laser for expressions such as All That Fake Laughin For Nothin , Fuck That , All The Stupid Shit I've Said , Cheap Bastard , Sugar Bullshit , FOMO , Asshole or I'll Feng Shui Your Ass Right Out Of The Door . If we had to pick one of his works, we must go with that magnanimous, synthetic and powerful NO that embodies the antithesis of Mr. Wonderful's YES TO ALL .
Wayne White