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Billy White at Shrine


During icebreakers, we often ask each other who we’d invite to dinner, dead or alive, celebrity or otherwise. For multimedia artist Billy White, it’s not just one person, but many. And it’s not a dinner, but a picnic, where everyone is welcome. 

At Shrine, White’s unfussy mastery shines through in the expressive faces of his eclectic picnic guests, who range from American rapper DMX to Costa Rican artist Francisco Zuniga. Others include his childhood heroes like Elvis, Joe DiMaggio, Mr. T, Vang Gogh, and Eddie Murphy. 

White’s practice involves drawings on paper, paintings on canvas, and clay works. With each medium, he takes a pure but decisive approach, relying mostly on primary colors. His subjects have pronounced physical features, like a protruding bum or a strong nose, but this feels less like caricature and more like an indicator of a soulful connection to his cultural touchpoints, allowing White to capture the essence of individuals he has never even met. Check out the show to see these familiar faces, as well as the lesser known major players in White’s life.

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Photo: Untitled, 2023, acrylic on canvas 72 x 60 in, BW187, image courtesy of the gallery and the artist.