"Beauty Is Embarrassing" spotlights prolific painter, puppeteer and raconteur Wayne White, whose early success as a three-time Emmy Award-winning designer of the 1980s-era "Pee-wee's Playhouse" (he also created and voiced several of the show's memorable characters) would prove just a fraction of what this visionary talent had in store.
As one observer here aptly — and non-hyperbolically — sums it up, White is "a founding father of the current state of pop art."
Director (and co-writer, co-producer and co-cinematographer) Neil Berkeley has crafted a buoyant, engaging, visually alluring portrait of the Tennessee-born White from underground young Greenwich Village artist to workaholic L.A. transplant up through to his still-irrepressible middle age.
Although perhaps best recognized these days for his word art (pre-painted landscapes onto which he vividly inserts profanely kicky phrases), White, who's been long-married to fellow artist Mimi Pond and has designed and animated other TV kids' shows and music videos, also still revels in kooky mask-building and cardboard-and-hot-glue sculpting. Why not?