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Directed by Neil Berkeley

United States 2012 87 mins.

You may not know painter-cartoonist-puppeteer-filmmaker Wayne White by name, but you know his work. A guiding force behind Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, White made an indelible mark on ’80s and ’90s pop culture by creating some of the decades’ most arresting and iconic images. Beauty is Embarrassing chronicles his ongoing struggles to find peace and balance between his brilliant art directing work on TV, music videos (Smashing Pumpkins, Peter Gabriel), and commercials (Wieden+Kennedy’s Old Spice), and his witty, irreverent “word paintings.” “[White is] … a little bit Zach Galifianakis, a little bit Snuff Smith, a little bit Unabomber.”—Matt Groening. “Hilarious … Wayne rails against the pretentious, pointy-headed high-art establishment, serving as a compelling folk hero for those who never knew art could be fun.”—Variety.

Genres: Documentary

Appears in: On Art and Artists



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.