Ricardo's Satirical Beasts of Doom
Geoffrey Ricardo: Sculptor, Printmaker, Painter
Big, burlesque and bold, the art of Geoffrey Ricardo takes us through a satirical landscape where his ‘animalia’ struggle to survive in a dark and decadent world. His iconic elephants, polar bears, kangaroos, rhinoceros, dogs, birds and seals are just some of the cast of
characters in an anthropomorphic mix of myth, beast and man. Ricardo’s sculptured
beasts are essentially Australian; blunt in character, rough in texture, often sheets of scrap
copper hammered together with splashes of strong coloured paint. Like giant cartoons
they strut about in Ricardo’s imaginary dim-lit stage or in more recent times they dominate
in seascape exhibitions.
Working from his studio in Melbourne’s West, he is a restless and compelling artist. Highly
skilled, Ricardo morphs from sculptor to painter, illustrator to printmaker to set designer.
He has been known to explore his subjects with anthropological passion delving into
diverse milieus. He has witnessed post-mortems in a rural hospital and travelled to the
icescapes of Antarctica in the pursuit of deeper insight to convey his concerns about the
state of the planet and the human condition.
But in the end it is his satirical wit that distinguishes his work and draws us into his concerns for man, beast and the environment.
There is a strong element of the grotesque in the menagerie of creatures and figures that inhabit his drawings and prints.
Ricardo has matured into an artist who constantly revisits his range of themes to develop
his satirical narrative. He has one eye on the masters of the past, constantly referencing
the iconography of his subjects, and one eye on the contemporary world, alert to the
scientific, social, political and environmental conundrums that underpin his sharp wit. He
has an energetic approach experimenting in materials, technologies and genres.
Ricardo’s expansive portfolio is best explored through his limited edition prints where his
full array of animals and grotesque creatures multiply and meander freely in his edgy
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