'Stupid Factory' Creator Is 'Post-Pop' Sensation: You Can Call Todd Goldman's Art Controversial, but Don't Call Him, or His Art, a Fad

By Jancsurak, Joe | Art Business News, March 2006 | Go to article overview

'Stupid Factory' Creator Is 'Post-Pop' Sensation: You Can Call Todd Goldman's Art Controversial, but Don't Call Him, or His Art, a Fad


Jancsurak, Joe, Art Business News


Todd Goldman

Self-proclaimed professional doodler, cartoon-type illustrator Todd Goldman has, in a very short time, managed to establish himself as a provocative force within the contemporary art market--carving for himself a niche forever known as "post-pop art."

Goldman's simply drawn, colorful characters are oozing with cutting-edge humor and controversy, depending on your perspective. Only two years ago, his art and irreverence captured the attention and imagination of the [S.sup.2] Art Group, Goldman's exclusive art publisher. Shortly after signing on with [S.sup.2] in 2004, the Clearwater, FL-based artist had his first exhibition of paintings (acrylics on canvas signed simply "TODD") in the Entertainment Gallery in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, where Goldman showed 96 paintings, of which 87 were sold.

Goldman's first exhibition quickly established a pattern of success for subsequent exhibitions, 10 of which were held during his first year as an artist. Some collectors of Goldman's art have been known to acquire as many as five or six at a time, and celebrity collectors include Paul McCartney, Jessica Simpson, John Goodman and the Wayans Brothers (Marlon, Shawn and Keenen Ivory). His first hand-signed lithograph, "Peas on Earth," was released in 2004 and he has since produced 20 lithographs, with several of these editions being close to sold out.

This year's gallery exhibitions include Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Japan, London and Artexpo New York ([S.sup.2] Art Group, Platinum Booth #1840).

Backwards, But It Works

As for the irreverent cartoon-type characters for which Goldman is well-known, those had their beginnings in January of 2000, when Goldman founded David & Goliath (named not after Old Testament figures, but after Goldman's dad Dave and his dad's dog Goliath).

"I kind a did this backwards," says Goldman, referring to his art following the licensed products, rather than vice versa. Goldman has two accounting degrees from the University of Florida, a bachelor's and a master's. He also has his CPA, and actually worked at an Atlanta accounting firm for 10 months before borrowing money from his parents to launch David & Goliath.

Today, David & Goliath (D&G) is a $100-million-plus licensed-products (girls t-shirts and pajamas, calendars, plush animals, key chains, etc., etc., etc.) enterprise with 12 retail stores (Goldman hopes to have 35 in five years) for Goldman's "Stupid Factory" characters, of which there are about 100--including "Trendy Wendy," who's been known to proclaim through Goldman's art, "You Say I'm a Bitch, Like It's a Bad Thing" and "Goodbye Kitty," an ordinary feline shown awaiting its fate outside a Chinese restaurant or in the grasp of the world's most misunderstood giant ape in "Goodbye Kitty Kong."

But the character that has generated the most press and attention for the businessman-turned-artist, is "Todd," the bug-eyed, round-face boy that Goldman created to "make fun of himself" as a boy and whose image adorns artworks and a plethora of related products showing little "Todd" running away from, what else? Rocks.

Goldman's harshest critics, such as Los Angeles-based radio host and newspaper columnist, Glenn Sacks, and Bernard Goldberg, author of the best-seller, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (in which Goldman is ranked 97) have accused the artist, who also has a line of "Boys Are Smelly" products, of furthering what they perceive as today's "boy-bashing" culture. …

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