Mustangs Illustrated: Automotive Artist Camilo Pardo
If you have never heard the name, I am sure you are familiar with his work. Camilo Pardo is credited as the man responsible for rebirthing the legendary Ford GT40 in the form of the modern Ford GT supercar. Not only was Camilo lead designer on the Ford GT project, but he is also an accomplished artist. Working from his Detroit studio, Camilo has produced some jaw dropping and delicious automotive art over the last couple of decades.
Recently, 1XRun and 323East Gallery out of Detroit sponsored a one man show in Beverly Hills, California featuring Camilo’s work. Some of the proceeds from the show went to the Carroll Shelby Charity. On a beautiful September night on the roof of the Thompson Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard, 35 pieces of Camilo’s art were on display for friends, clients and celebrities to appreciate. With prices ranging from $250 to $8500, there was something for everyone’s budget.
Camilo’s subject matter is somewhat diverse, yet not surprising. Along with several large pieces of the Ford GT rendered beautifully in various hues and paint schemes, Camilo showcased a series of erotic pieces entitled “Her Targets”. Screen printed in numerous colors and showcasing the artist’s love for form and design, the Target pieces are pop culture meets modern, stunning visuals, showing off the beauty of the female form.
Of course there was a 1967 Mustang Bullitt painting that would look perfect in any man cave or automotive museum. Also on display was a modern interpretation of a World War II fighter plane race, as well as a super close encounter between Wonder Woman and Superman. Formula One race cars are also a theme that Camilo has developed over the years. The artwork looked spectacular hanging on the glass walls of the rooftop pool area, with the Los Angeles skyline as the ultimate backdrop. Ford GT racing footage, Steve McQueen movies and Le Mans vintage race Ford GT40s played on the wall overlooking the pool, which had Camilo’s name projected onto the bottom of the pool.
Many of Camilo’s friends from Detroit were on hand to support his LA debut. Of particular note were Kyle Evans who was also on the design team for the Ford GT as well as the 2010 Mustang. Kyle Evans is now Chief Designer for Jeep, being responsible for the exterior of the redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee. Cleo Shelby was on hand for the Carroll Shelby Charity. Also in attendance were the Standers who brought with them a couple modern examples of the Superformance version of the Ford GT40. Charles Agapiou, the cheif mechanic and crew chief during the pursuit of the World Championships, first with the Shelby Cobras and later with the Ford GT40 program. Joe Ponce, who worked as a designer for Ford when the concept Indigo was developed, as well as working on the C5 Corvette and Cadillac DeVille. Joe now has his own line of women’s shoes called LUX Collection, from Ponce International.
Camilo arrived in his one-of-a-kind Ford GT painted in classic race livery of Windveil Blue with Performance White single over the top stripe. But this is no garage / trailer queen supercar. Camilo made a road trip out of this event and spent 2 weeks on the road, stopping at various track events and attending the Pebble Beach Concourse before arriving in Beverly Hills to set up his art show. While Camilo loves his Detroit studio, he is exploring the possibility of opening a studio in Los Angeles to take the chill out of the winter months. With his extreme talent and unique personality, I am sure Camilo would fit in very nicely in the LA art scene.
This is the 3rd summer that Camilo has driven his Ford GT from Detroit to LA. His friend and fellow CCS alumni Mark MacInnis is working on a bio film of Camilo called The Luckiest Guy Alive, where you can see some of the antics Camilo and his pals go through on their journey.
Photos by Jed Cranium, Jason Rzucidlo and Steven Valline.