Louie Cordero at Open House, The 3rd Singapore Biennale
Search for Louie Cordero online and you won’t find a lot of pictures of Cordero himself; instead, you will be inundated with choice cuts from a body of work done over the span of nearly ten years, with a range running from the sequential to the sculptural. Setting aside a prolific career, Cordero is personable without the persona. He laughs easily and speaks in what could be described as a warm deadpan. He has most of his epiphanies while biking, and his favorite color is yellow ochre, because not only is it “the color of s**t, right?”, but a transition towards sepia: setting the tone for nostalgia and sentimentality for a fading past, which figures into Cordero’s work just as heavily as the scatological humor and fluorescent hues for which he’s known.
From his studio in Cubao, Quezon City (a former comic book publishing house) he has done album covers for The Sleepyheads and Radioactive Sago Project. He is also behind Nardong Tae (Nardo the S**t), a series of four photocopied comic books (with a fifth one on the way) about an anthropomorphic turd fighting for justice in a world submerged in the metaphorical crapper. Locally, Cordero identifies his audience as “young, daming bata,” the types who would find humor in his work before anything else; but one can just as easily enter the Cordero canon through, in his words the “very regal” gallery setting, with shows such as Sacred Bones (2010) and Absolute Horror (2008). “The reason why I work and I still do what I’m doing is because,” after a pause, “I don’t know what I’m doing.” He continues with a laugh, “But I don’t need to explain myself in a literary or academic form, because this comes off to me as a more interesting way to show what I want to do and say what I have to say.”