Prices range from $1,200 to $150,000
Limited Edition Giclees with Hand-Embellishment
Original Oil Paintings
Todd white captures restaurant, night and Hollywood scenes with contrasting colors serving the viewer’s eyes as those in his stolen scenes serve or are served-wine, coffee, cigarettes, cigars, and martinis. He creates timeless scenes of diverse attraction, of known intimacy. Within the exaggerated features and textured skin of his characters lies truth, yours and theirs. Distinctive bodies and details to lips, eyes, hair, skin, hands and what is held in each, separate and blend his characters’ lives. The smoke that rises from their lips, the drinks that linger at their fingertips, the clothing that adorns their bodies and the crowd created among lovers, friends, patrons and co-workers all speak a certain poetry. Each character depicts the subtleties of what one shows and what one hides. An asymmetrical face tells of an asymmetrical life, of how life wears and how we wear life — what we choose to carry in our hands and on our faces — how we wear ourselves, what smoke and color we stand in.
Todd’s paintings are captivating, demanding a second look, often invoking humor or thoughts of familiar feelings — I’ve been there, I know them. Above all, the work is infectious and has caught the attention of the public (galleries cannot keep enough of Todd’s work in stock) as well as celebrities (Vin Diesel, Hugh Hefner, Macaulay Culkin, Eric McCormack, Ryan Stiles and Joe Rogan are collectors of Todd’s oil paintings). But who is the artist behind the art and where did his unique style come from?
Todd began in at Warner Bros. Studios while working on the popular series, tiny toons. Through character clean-up and development, Todd began to forge his own artistic style. Shortly thereafter, Todd became part of the lead animation team for the internationally renowned cartoon, sponge bob square pants. Over the next three years, Todd sharpened his eye in storyboarding, illustration and character design.
Throughout this period, Todd privately experimented with style and concept, eventually arriving at a process which guides him through every piece. The impact is apparent in his paintings; Todd’s rat-pack-meets-Picasso style results, in part, from his desire to reveal his characters’ innermost thoughts and emotions on their faces. Todd likens his portraits to his favorite episode of the Twilight Zone in which people wore masks that later became their faces and revealed who they truly were.
Fast forward ten years later, and until Todd can conceptually see the story in his head, he refuses to paint a single signature knuckle curled around one of his famous martinis. "I actually name my pieces first and then i visualise each face and its personality. Then I develop each person’s story." The stark, unblemished delivery of his subjects is very much intended: whatever isn’t necessary to the story isn’t on my canvas. "I don’t waste a lot of time with backgrounds because they don’t interest me. They aren’t necessary. Instead i focus on what is essential. For example, the hands." Hands are a focal point for Todd, reflecting the subject’s state of mind as much as any body language or facial expression. Everyone’s hands are full of personality he surmises. Take Al Pacino; without his hands, he’s not nearly as interesting to watch.
In addition to more obvious influences, such as Austrian expressionist Egon Schiele, Todd credits Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, Bridget Bardot, Nat King Cole and the style and feel of the age of cool. However, Todd’s flirtation with the cool cats begins and ends on the canvas. On any given afternoon, you’ll find Todd’s paint-stained hands not reaching for a fresh cigarette or a third martini, (Todd doesn’t smoke and rarely drinks anything stronger than iced tea), but rather scooping trail mix to feed wild rabbits or throwing a well worn rubber ball for his dogs. Todd keeps his afternoons free because of the one trait he has in common with ol’ blue eyes: Todd feels he does his best work in the wee small hours of the morning.
Todd experiments with style and concept, eventually arriving at a process, which guides him through every piece. The impact is apparent in his paintings; Todd’s rat pack-meets- Picasso style results, in part, from his desire to reveal his characters’ innermost thoughts and emotions on their faces. Todd likens his portraits to his favourite episode of the Twilight Zone in which people wore masks that later became their faces and revealed who they truly were.
Todd resides in Austin, Texas, with his wife, 5 children, 2 dogs and chickens.