Todd White, SpongeBob Artist and Renowned Painter, Settles Gallery HB "Ninja" Attack Suit
The art world has been closely watching the case involving alleged theft, fraud and commerce when it comes to prints of original artwork and signatures and identifying marks that make them more valuable.
The revelation about a settlement being reached last week comes as an end note to the online version of David Kushner's fascinating "Sponge-Fraud!" piece in the current issue of Vanity Fair. Terms of the settlement are confidential.
The Weekly reported on the alleged attack at Gallery HB at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach and the home of former gallery owner Peggy Howell shortly after it supposedly happened.
Todd White, SpongeBob Squarepants Animator-Turned-Painter, Blamed in Suit for Surf City Ninja "Attack"
White, through his attorney, called Howell's claims "crazy," explaining his representatives informed the Hyatt they had discovered the gallerist had engaged in art fraud and were going to the gallery to take care of the matter without risking harm to his future sales. The artist maintains the resulting meeting with Howell was not violent at all, that she complied willingly with his representatives and that she even expressed contrition, something a mover hired to ferry some prints confirms overhearing, according to the Kushner piece.
For its part, the Hyatt has declined to comment. Gallery HB is now being run by someone else--without White's work on the walls.
Todd White of Spongebob Squarepants and Art World Fame Accused of Fraud with His Own Work
You can understand the artist's reaction (whatever it really was). He'd graduated from a character designer on the animated SpongeBob SquarePants program to a painter who managed to make himself a million-dollar brand with clients ranging from Coca-Cola to Sylvester Stallone. White claims he had to intervene because Howell's actions were polluting the market for his giclée prints, which can each sell for up to the tens of the thousands of dollars.