Camilo Pardo is best known in automotive enthusiast circles as the designer of the lustrous 2003 Ford GT. But around Detroit and among car collectors, Pardo is also known for his fine art. Since leaving Ford, Pardo has devoted himself to making new work. His style emulates the period that inspired his renderings of the GT — 1960s motorsports culture infused with bright, seductive imagery of ladies and fast Ferraris, Mustangs and GT40s. He has recently expanded from oil to silkscreens. He will exhibit his work at the Thompson Hotel in Los Angeles on Sept. 17, with proceeds benefitting the Carroll Shelby Foundation. Camilo talks art and life in the fast lane:
On making paintings: The automotive painting is the closest it can get to car design because I’m actually rendering. I’m making the cars look as believable as I can with the medium, that’s what we do with automotive design — we’re rendering new ideas. I did try one painting that’s called “Desert Races” and I designed flying retro cars in oil on canvas. If I do more that it would be more like designing at Ford.
On his new work: Silkscreen is so pop art — taking dynamic image stills where there’s a dot matrix or linear matrix, composition of color and the surface you use. It’s very graphic, fine art. It’s fun to look at. People were entertained by it and it took everything in a completely different direction. It’s a layering of images. The layering is the clever bit — it’s a background color and a graphic and a silkscreen on top and now you have four color processes. I’ll generate it from a one image screen and the actual material you’re using is falling and is on part of the composition. All of it together it becomes quite a personality and now it’s turned into a whole new identity.
On the road to Los Angeles: I drove from Detroit to Utah for a road course rally where they auctioned a few of my paintings at theUtah Fast Pass. We meet up with Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, and Ford GTS at Miller Motorsports Park, and then there’s a big dinner. The money is used to help Utah Highway Patrol. They treat us like royalty with police blocking intersections. Then I drove toPebble Beach and the AFAS (Automotive Fine Art Society) and Laguna Seca and then partied in Carmel, and then went to the Concours. We did this in the Ford GT. We had to go back to Utah to go back to Miller to do the national Ford GT rally which is two track days and then drive in the canyon. I sold prints and paintings at both functions. It’s all about selling my art. Then we went to Vegas and now we’re off to the Fuel Injected show at the top of the Thompson in Beverly Hills.