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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


See Exhibition: Go to Gallery

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