It was hard to believe that twelve hours earlier we were camping on our mountain land in North Carolina, lost in the present moment of natures beauty. Arriving in the pre dawn hours the highway lights that mark the beginning of South Florida, guided us home. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy camping but our bed and air-conditioning was well appreciated.
The straight through, accelerated drive southward was to attend a very special parade at the Hollywood Circle. The event curated by the incredible Jane Hart, the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood featured the caricature puppet of Napoleon Bonaparte Broward followed by a parade of amazing creations of both native animal and birds. There was artist Wayne White, as the master of ceremony leading the way around the circle parade directing the gigantic green county name-sake, the rhythm driven by Brazilian drum beats.
The festivities continued down the street to the art opening at the Art and Culture Center of Wayne Whites paintings in an exhibition, Art is Supposed to Hypnotize You or Something. Whites irreverent text based art is carefully painted on top of thrift store finds complete with ornate frames. The type is determined by its underpainting and floats effortlessly on top of typical thrift store art.
The gallery is painted red with improvised drawing that gave me the feeling of being in a mock formal salon that was tagged with intriguing graffiti. By contrast the space is dominated by the giant green (what appears to me to be a snake oil salesman type) Napoleon Broward. The Center has created a wonderful unique installation that would be a nice visit to escape this crazy summer heat.
Here are a couple of highlights from the show.
If I have your interest and would like to delve a little deeper into Wayne's mind I would like to encourage you to take a look and listen to him during a TED talk presentation.
And then there is Jane Hart who courageously exhibits challenging, beautiful and edgy shows that my former students always looked forward to field tripping there.
You may be wondering what pulled me into Wayne's hilarious world. That would be the documentary Beauty is Embarrassing a film some LA friends encouraged me to watch immediately. I did and I was hooked. To my surprise not only did I know of White's work with Pee Wee's Playhouse but I was attracted to the mesmerizing word paintings years earlier at the Nada Fair during the very first Art Basel. This somewhat out of the way Fair at the Deauville Hotel in North Miami Beach always presented a fine array of both national and international art.
I've include the full version of the documentary with the hope that some will take the time to view it and I promise it will be an enlightening experience!
Discovering this film arrived at the moment I was undergoing a radical reinvention of my art due to health issues, Beauty is Embarrassing gave me the courage to move forward with whatever media and ideas my new art may lead. And most importantly to enjoy every moment!