Ricardo Santos’ deep passion for conveying automotive forms traces its roots back to primordial sketches in his school notebooks—aided by his faithful Bic pen.
The intensity of Ricardo’s passion exploded when as a child, he experienced the awe-inspiring Group B monsters as they rocketed through the stages of Rally de Portugal. These moments, coupled with the insatiable absorption of forms in magazines and posters on his bedroom walls, led Ricardo to the ambition of becoming a Designer.
In appreciating the work of Ricardo Santos, it’s difficult to separate between the Graphic Designer and the Artist.
Infused into each stroke, we find a homage to the pioneers of graphic art. These unmistakable influences can be seen throughout his work, whether it’s referencing such styles as the chromatic minimalism synonymous with Plakatstil Art or echoes of the graphic experiments initiated by the Bauhaus Movement. Santos’s journey as a designer has been diverse and multidisciplinary. But it was during his work with editorials where he developed his dexterity in digital techniques, incorporating a profound discernment for the use of colour and space.
His work is differentiated by a constant experimentation with visual architecture. And his mastery of the perspective structures associated with Soviet Constructivism design can be seen in the manner in which he depicts moments of speed, permanently capturing them in static form.
Always beginning on paper, Ricardo’s process is a natural one. He first embraces the emotional language between artefact and observer, foregoing theme and objectivity in favour of expression. Santos then structures the emotive outcome with masterful technique and design logic.
His unique process is reflected in the eclectic collection of works displayed in this exhibition. Specific themes are purposely avoided in favour of a focus on the love for motorsport. It is a love that takes shape in the definitive phrase “The Colour of Motorsport”.
Drawing on his unique artistic vernacular and almost encyclopaedic knowledge, Ricardo Santos explores the History of Motorsport through a rare and stimulating lens loaded with captivating expressions of speed. It is this fusion of passion with talent that catapulted the Portuguese Designer onto the international stage, culminating in collaborations with major global brands and automotive publications like Pagani, Red Bull F1, Racer or Top Gear.
“The Colour of Motorsport” exhibition finds a natural home in the Museu do Caramulo nested among the original design masterpieces which they depict. The combined assemblage represents an unparalleled odyssey that brings a distinctive quality beyond the sum of its parts.