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Black Tie Optional by Todd White
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Todd White’s distinctive style and down to earth personality have won him an international reputation. And his profile just keeps on growing.
Born in 1969 in Texas, he came from humble roots. During his twenties he relocated to Hollywood and worked in the animation field, developing characters at some of the most renowned production studios in the country. He was even part of the lead team for the international hit cartoon series SpongeBob SquarePants.
During this period Todd started to forge his artistic style by experimenting with style and concept. He eventually arrived at the working method that now guides him through every piece. He always names his pieces first, visualizes faces and personalities, then develops each person’s story. In fact, he doesn’t paint at all until he can conceptually see that story in his head. And he always tells it as directly as possible – what isn’t necessary to the story doesn’t go on the canvas.
Hands are a focal point as he’s always been impressed by how powerfully and expressively tiny gesticulations can amplify an actor’s performance. ”Everyone’s hands are full of personality,”‘ says Todd, “They reflect the subject’s state of mind almost as much as facial expressions.”
He’s a compulsive observer of detail, always studying and absorbing figures, faces and features. Subconsciously, 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.
His paintings captivate people. They often invoke laughter and demand repeated viewings. By revealing his subjects’ innermost feelings he creates timeless scenes of attraction and intimacy. Beneath the exaggerated features and textured skin of his characters there is truth. Both theirs and ours.
Todd’s subjects come from the everyday world, but his perspective is so unusual that he alters the way we perceive people and the roles we play around each other. He studies body language, using its nuances to capture the subtleties of what people show and hide.
He was chosen from hundreds of artists as the Official Artist of the GRAMMY® Awards in 2007, the world’s most prestigious music event. And in 2009, Todd was invited by Warner Bros. to contribute to a major design exhibition celebrating the 70th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz.
Todd collaborated with Coca Cola in 2010 to produce limited edition bottles and cans. His unique box signature appears right on the product, which is the first time Coca-Cola has given credit to a fine artist in this manner.
In 2011 Todd was awarded one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious accolades in the shape of the Diana Princess of Wales Gold Medal, after donating his portrait of the Princess to the Diana Awards charity. Only 11 people to date, Todd now included as the only American, have been honoured with the Award. Todd flew to London to officially receive the award.
Following a string of record-breaking shows in the UK, Todd returned to the US to even greater acclaim, and has become one of the worlds most collectable and successful living artists.
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