Rico works in bold, graphic, colour overlayers that reimagine pictorial space in a superflat aesthetic. His work demonstrates a contemporary understanding of pattern, tone and form that celebrates a design trope inspired by both Western and African aesthetic traditions.
His inspirations range from the graphic qualities of South African motifs found in shweshwe, Zulu beadwork and Ndabele mural painting (particularly the work of Esther Mahlangu) to dynamic post-pop contemporary works by Piet Para and KAWS. In line with current design schools such as Mami Wata surf that see traditional aesthetics married to an 1980s revival of bold neon colour patterns, Rico’s work playfully subverts safari and tropical motifs with an eye for integrated forms and surprising colour relationships.
Trained as a graphic designer in Paris, Rico recently moved to Cape Town to pursue a career in illustration. In parallel to his own work as an artist, he has also published fanzines promoting the work of other contemporary artists.
Regarding Winter is Rico’s first inclusion in a fine art exhibition.