In a sense Geoffrey Ricardo is an old fashion image maker, where his imagery is frequently born out of a personal neurosis or out of an acute anxiety arising from the observation of social behaviour and then is refined, distilled and intensified through the etching process.
Over the past couple of decades, Geoffrey Ricardo has devised a personal iconography of the theatre of the absurd where the artist plays the roles of the observer, the voyeur, the participant and the sacrificial victim. The atmosphere in his etchings is almost invariably dark and brooding, the lacings of black humour are edgy and disturbing, there is almost always an implied narrative, but it is rarely decipherable beyond the broadest existentialist themes and possible notes of environmental protest concerning the extinction of animal species and the general apocalyptic note. The sense of enigma is particularly prevalent in his art, where we seem to have been given privileged access to some sort of theatrical performance, but where the meaning and the identity of the principal characters remains veiled in mystery. There is a prevailing contradiction which runs throughout his art: although the artist adopts deliberate disguises, at the same time he wishes to be recognised and to be seen. Although he treats the copper plate as a confessional diary, the meaning of the notations is never fully revealed. It is the tension inherent in this contradiction which gives his work the quality of resonance.
Professor Sasha Grishin AM, FAHA, The Sir William Dobell Professor of Art History, Australian National University