In the 1985 HBO mockumentary The History of White People in America, co-writer and host Martin Mull offered the world mayonnaise-loving WASPs - suburbanites who had lost any sense of their roots, to the point that one child's understanding of his own heritage was limited to the streets on which he and his parents had lived.
White people, the show seemed to be saying, are beyond ethnicity and culture.
Mull doesn't see a meaningful connection between that work and his paintings, which will be shown at the Figge Art Museum in a retrospective that opens October 28. The only link, he said in an interview last month, is that they reflect his upbringing in Ohio. "It comes from the same vein," he said, "the same mother lode."