One lesser discussed fact surrounding the 1980s cult-favorite kid show Pee-wee’s Playhouse is that its whimsical set, puppets, and assorted other oddities were dreamt up by a few avant-garde artists. Namely, late-’70s punk veteran Gary Panter, Ric Heitzman and Wayne White provided the surrealist environment where Paul Reubens’ character let his imagination run amok. While all three went on to have further influence on the world of art and music, White’s post-Pee-wee work reached an even wider audience when he designed two classic animated music videos: the Smashing Pumpkins’ unforgettable Georges Méliès-inspired “Tonight Tonight” and Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time.” White is also a childhood friend of singer-songwriter Kurt Wagner, for whom he’s created numerous Lambchop album covers.
Now — as Yewknee points out — an inspiring new documentary about his career in art, Beauty Is Embarrassing, is hoping to fund nationwide distribution after earning loads of critical praise at recent festivals. Based on this preview, which features interviews by Panter, Simpsons creator Matt Groening, and composer Mark Mothersbaugh, the film looks like a must-see for anyone looking to fuel their muse. Check out the trailer above.