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Pop Goes the Palm Springs Art Scene

trevor wayne

Trevor Wayne Really Draws You In

By Kevin Perry

Palm Springs is founded on a sense of whimsy and wonder. A palpable current of excitement bubbles up through the ground, invigorating its most enthusiastic ambassador: Trevor Wayne. His effusive conversational style is peppered with jubilant language. In fact, let’s play a game: after reading this article, try and guess how many times the word fun is bandied about. We assure you, it’ll be… well, fun.

“The thing I like about Palm Springs is that there is just some kind of creative energy here. It’s very much about the arts,” explains Trevor. “It’s a fun place and I think it’s a place where, especially with tourism, I think people come here because they want fun.”

There’s that word again. But can you blame him? Trevor’s aesthetic depicts silver screen icons through a comic book lens to create a wonderfully unique tableau of pure joy. When asked about his signature style, Trevor replies, “It’s fun. It’s just meant to be fun. I don’t think that you should surround yourself in negative imagery. So I think there’s a definite lack of just things that lighten the atmosphere when you walk in a room.”

Trevor Wayne Palm Springs
Golden Heroes

So, does the king of joviality have a dark side? You bet.

“I do love horror movies,” Trevor admits, “but I felt like a traitor to horror movies because I used to have horror movie posters and all that stuff around, and I took all that stuff down. I just didn’t want to have it in my face all day long. So I thought, what could I do to make horror movies fun, especially even for people who don’t like horror movies or are scared of them? I thought what’s the funniest or least threatening thing you can replace the threat of a horror movie with? And I’m like, well, a banana.”

Trevor Wayne Palm Springs

You read that correctly. Trevor has ingeniously re-imagined several Hollywood classics in a series he calls Horror Banana. He captures the essence of cinema’s most frightening imagery and replaces knives, aliens and bloodthirsty birds with apPEELing yellow fruit. “Basically, even people who don’t like horror recognize a lot of the imagery and like it, just because it makes it fun. I like taking dark imagery and making it fun.”

The first rule of artistic expression is finding your voice, and Trevor’s reverberates from his genuine core. “I paint for myself,” he declares. “I don’t ever think about the target audience, which I know every artist is going to disagree and yell at me about, especially when I deal in retail and you have to think about your audience. For me personally, I’ve never done that and I’m okay with it, because I feel like if you get me, you got me and If you don’t, you don’t. I’m not trying to convince everybody in the world to love me or my work. If you get it, you get it, and I’m happy when people get it, because it’s definitely a part of my personality. All my artwork is my personality. So, I just paint what I want to paint, what I find interesting.”

Trevor Wayne Palm Springs

If you are detecting a healthy dose of boyish charm, that’s because Trevor cultivated his gregarious nature at a very early age. “My inspiration for having a store and taking art into the merchandise world is Lisa Frank. Ever since I was a kid, you’d go to Kmart and you’d have to have the latest Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper pencils or whatever or you were just not cool in school. I think that was my first introduction to mass-produced arts and fun art. I would call it my personal version of pop art.”

Closing the book on that chapter in his life, Trevor reiterates, “I always thought I wanted every kid in the classroom to have my art on Trapper Keepers and I wanted to do mass merchandising.”

Fast-forward to the present day. While many of Trevor’s pieces are available online, he is particularly proud of the gallery he has established at his Palm Canyon Drive location. “I have original paintings here. I’ve been doing hand sketches, block carved prints. I started doing pottery and ceramics, with the same intent of mind that it’s just to make fun objects, and then I’ve been photographing the pottery and turning that into photography with limited edition prints. I’m kind of doing it all in this store.”

Trevor’s success has migrated well beyond our city limits. “I started making mugs and key chains and puzzles and stuff, and I’ve been selling those wholesale for the last three years to 120 stores and museum stores.”

Trevor Wayne Palm Springs store

But no matter how far his influence may ripple, Trevor’s perspective always leads him back home. “Because I live in Palm Springs, I just decided this is the perfect place to open a store like this.”

So, did you guess how many times we tossed the word fun back and forth in the course of our uplifting convo with Trevor Wayne? We’re guessing it was north of a million, but maybe we’re just having fun with you.

Trevor Wayne Palm Springs

Trevor Wayne Pop Art –  386 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs


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