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Visit Pee-wee’s Playhouse With Todd Oldham’s Book on an Artist Who Created It

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This month, eBay, in partnership with the Strategist, went back to some of our favorite celebrity shoppers — including designer Todd Oldham — to ask them about things that they can live without and would be willing to sell at auction for charity. All proceeds will go to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (eBay is receiving and donating all proceeds and matching every dollar the auction earns). Click here to see all the stuff you can bid on.

Wayne White is one of the most gifted human beings I’ve ever met. He’s an artist in the lightning-bolt sense of the word — he has no choice but to be one. I first fell in love with his work while gallery hopping with Amy Sedaris in New York City in the early 2000s. Wayne was having his first show there and we were just blown away by his art. I started collecting his work, and as I did more research on Wayne, I found out that he is one of the original artists behind Pee-wee’s Playhouse. He created puppets and illustrations for the show and also was a puppeteer who voiced characters. But Wayne also had a commercial career doing wild illustrations and animations for brands like MTV. It turned out that I had been aware of his work for years without realizing that it was his.

Most of Wayne’s work had never been documented, and it was so clear to me that it needed to be, so I reached out to his gallery about approaching him to make a book. We spent the next three years photographing, digitizing, restoring, and archiving to create this 400-something-page opus. Wayne was wonderful to work with. There would be times when my team would work late and wake up the next morning to find eight or ten exquisite drawings Wayne had done the night before. I’ve never known someone to produce as much art as he has. The ability he has with a paintbrush is otherworldly. He’s like Tintoretto — his skill set is as extreme as any of the finest artists ever known. The book is a real pleasure to look at: It’s very dense and moves very quickly, covering the evolution of movements and moments in time in relation to Wayne’s work. It even includes behind the scenes photographs from his puppeteer days — anyone who watched Pee-wee’s Playhouse will be electrified by them. Every time I open the book, it blows my mind.

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See Pee-wee’s Playhouse With Todd Oldham’s Wayne White Book