Todd White

Beach Blankets by Todd White
These Cost? by Todd White
Same Hell Different Devils by Todd White
Bad For Your Health by Todd White
The Voodoo That You Do by Todd White
Outlaws by Todd White
Sugar Shack by Todd White
The Lioness by Todd White
Chasing Foxes by Todd White
Without Demons or Doubts by Todd White
Make Me Bad by Todd White
White Tie Affair by Todd White
Black Tie Optional by Todd White
Saints and Lords by Todd White
From prime-time kids TV favourite, SpongeBob SquarePants to iconic fantasy movie stalwart, The Wizard of Oz, acclaimed contemporary figurative/humourist artist, Todd White has had several of his characaturist fingers entrenched in a variety of highly illustrative pies over the years, during which time he’s built a reputation for manifesting frenetically-originated likenesses of the good, the bad and the plain indifferent. White lists Hollywood royalty, Sylvester Stallone as one of his high profile collectors, while he’s also one of a select band of artists who’s ever been invited to celebrate the late Princess Diana on official canvas (commissioned by the ‘Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund’).

And most recently White has been propositioned by American broadcaster, CBS about using one of his signature paintings in a scene from the upcoming TC adaptation of celebrated 1980s movie, ‘Beverley Hills Cop’. What’s more, White’s also (allegedly) been involved in an elaborate heist-of-sorts (where he stole his own work from a gallery or something (we know, crazy stuff – Google it!). Having said there’s definitely something of the Tarantino, ‘Reservoir Dog’ about the enigmatic Mr White in our book, which along with his exceptional art makes him as much a larger than life character as one of his creations. ‘Colourful’ just doesn’t do him justice.

So what do we REALLY know about White, that’s fit for a family audience? Well, we have it on good authority that he was born in San Antonio in the state of Texas back in 1969, and that his mother is a painter who specializes in traditional South Western landscapes, whilst White’s grandmother, Wanda Spurlock, was also a painter. So the talent has definitely been passed down through the generations it would appear. However, as soon as he could, White packed his bags and relocated to the centre of the known universe. Or as fellow Americans refer to it as, ‘Hollywood’. There, White secured employment as an animator, and quickly rose to studio prominence on account of his illustrative work on hugely popular animated kids’ shows like ‘Tiny Toons’ and ‘Ren & Stimpy’ to name but two examples of his preferred genre. A genre which did much to project his creative attributes. Then White’s big break arrived in 1999, when he bagged the role of Lead Character Designer on a new series (which the Nickelodeon studio had high hopes for) called, ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’.

This proved something akin to manna from (illustrative) heaven for White’s wide-eyed, child-like imagination and seemingly relentless energy, as it centred around the surreal adventures of a sea sponge which resided in a pineapple house. At the time, colleagues recount White lording it up around the office wearing a bolero hat and challenging all comers to a martial arts-inspired fight on the parking lot roof. As you do. When the demand for SpongeBob waned, White used this time wisely and as something of a catalyst; turning his attentions (and channelled all his uncontrollable excitement) into his own illustrative concerns. White’s own fledgling art career suddenly took on a whole new edge and new urgency, as he attempted to get a foothold in the prestigious LA gallery circles. A man on a mission, White circumnavigated the city flaunting his extraordinarily-evocative pictorial wares, which focussed on his flamboyant interpretations of an imagined universe populated by Martini-soaked scenes of natty cads and sultry vixens.

During this period White experimented with both style and concept, eventually arriving at a process which he admits now guides him through every piece. Until White can conceptually see the story in his head, he won't paint, whilst he has a habit of affording his pieces names before he starts, and visualises faces and personalities; then developing each person's story. The stark, unblemished delivery of his subjects is very much intended - what isn't necessary to the story simply doesn't go onto the canvas. White is also what he calls a full-time observer, noticing what others don't, always studying and absorbing figures, faces and features for later reference. Subconsciously, compulsively, he spends his life people-watching, scribbling down sketches whatever the situation (often on napkins, even tablecloths), to record an idea for his next work.

Anyway – and returning to the story - such was his sense of direction, coupled with an innate entrepreneurial vision, White flogged his art work from the back of his pick-up truck which he anchored outside of art fairs (until the LAPD escorted him off the premises) and sweet-talked numerous Beverly Hills-located celebrity haunt bar owners into hanging his works from their walls. White’s perseverance and on-his-feet-thinking paid dividends as quickly he shifted much of his back catalogue and had made enough to turn his back on the world of commercial animation for good. A gallery owner commented at the time; “The difference with Todd and other comparable artists is that he’s a genuine charismatic character, not unlike Warhol.” Which of course stood him in great stead from the outset.

With demand growing around this time, White became something of the poster boy for a burgeoning form of mass production which we know today as giclées,
Whilst his default art setting has long been referred to in the industry as figurative expressionism. Yet White has also been described in certain circles as an ‘observational artist’, as well as by one of the famous tags that’s stuck and resonates well, that of ‘Rat-Pack meets Picasso’. In 2007 White was chosen from hundreds of potential candidates as the Official Artist of the GRAMMY® Awards that year, and just two years later he was invited by Warner Bros. to contribute to a major design exhibition celebrating the 70th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. The collection toured designated cities all over the world including Miami, Los Angeles, Dubai, Japan, London, Toronto and Vienna. In 2010, White was chosen to provide sketches for Coca-Cola Light in Mexico, with the six sketches he produced depicted on different faces of Coca-Cola Light bottles and cans, each featuring his distinctive box signature. Incidentally this was the first time that Coke had collaborated with a fine artist to depict artwork for its label.
In 2010White released his first book which included a raft of original sketches, insights to his creative process and personal comments as well as a biography.

View All Art Works By Todd White