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Louie Cordero of Nardong Tae interview at Manila Standard Today

originally posted at http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=goodLife6_nov24_2007 

 Melting Comics

By Diego Rosano P. Mapa
Painter and sculptor Louie Cordero got what it takes to become a legend. His works have been included in numerous exhibits in and out of the country including Malaysia, Singapore, London, and the United States since 1998. He also won the grand prize of the painting category in the eighth annual Freeman Foundation at the Vermont Studio Center in 2002; finalist of the Ateneo Art Award 2005 (Presented in memory of Fernando Zobel de Ayala); and recipient of the Thirteenth Artist Award at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2006.

Recently, his works has been featured by super-cool Asian- American sub-culture magazine Giant Robot (check issue no. 43). Moreover, an exhibit also under them in Los Angeles, called, Delubyo, paintings depicting zombies.

I first encountered Louie’s work thru his comic fanzine, Nardong Tae, a super hero basically made of shit, his powers are shit, and that five-part comic book is “the shit!” He is also known for his cover artwork for jazz-punks, Radio Active Sago Project’s latest album, T@ngina mo nagugutom ang Pilipinas… fashionista ka pa rin (Terno Recordings).

Louie’s full-colored art is like looking at detailed neon Pinoy komiks with a lot of torn guts and intestines and all characters are like dripping or melting; a true modern psychedelic experience indeed. Let’s talk to the artist:


What’s your favorite medium?

Wala akong favorite na medium. Kung anong bagay doon sa work, yun ang gagamitin ko. Kung kailangan sa papel, usually kung anong puwede sa papel, [pen and paper, collage,] at kung anu-ano pa. Kung sa canvas, encaustic wax, oil or acrylic. Kung anong meron sa studio at natitira, yun ang gagamitin ko. Ang drawing kasi parang stage one o back bone ng isang idea, wala pa itong kulay, dito dadating ang painting, tapos sculpture, kung saan mas mabubuhay na ito dahil puwede mo na itong hawakan, three dimension na siya. Mas mahirap gumawa ng scupture, pero fullfilling kapag natapos na ito, parang bangungot na ayaw tumakas sa pag-iisip mo hanggang hindi siya natatapos.

What and who are you’re influences?

Mahilig ako dati magbasa ng comics simula pa nuong bata ako, Zuma, Shockers, Ninja, Vincent de Khua, Nonoy Marcelo… mga pocketcomics. Malaki din influence sa akin ang mga ’60s underground comics na galing sa San Francisco, Robert Williams, Robert Crumb, Basil Wolverton at yung mga bago ngayon sila Gary Panther, Daniel Clowes, Mike Diana, Charles Burns, Peter Bagge, Johhny Ryan.

How did you come up with Nardong Tae?

[Year] 2003 ko ito ginawa, frustration ko kasi gumawa ng comics, hindi kasi ako marunong magsulat at gumawa ng story, frustration ko talaga gumawa nito, mahilig talaga ako magbasa, pero hindi ako marunong gumawa.

Nuong college pa ako, puro pinta at teorya tungkol sa art, kaya nakalimutan ko na talaga ang comics. Tapos lumipat ako sa Cubao, dating comics factory yung studio ko, sobra akong naimpluwensiyahan sa lugar, wala na akong pambili ng pintura kaya nag-try ako na mag-comics muna.

Kinalat ko ito, yung no. 1 sa Recto, kung saan nagsimula at magtatapos ang istorya ni Nardo, mga 50 copies lang yung pina-xerox ko, tapos lumaki na after that, yung iba pina-xerox ulit, free for all, tapos nakakuha ako ng publisher, tapos bumalik ako sa pagpipinta, kaya natigil ito… Sana makabalik ako para matapos ko na… sana.

With your last trip to the United States, what’s the latest with music, toys, art, etc?

Mas gusto ko kasi yung hindi uso, siguro masochist lang ako masyado pagdating sa sensibilities at asthetics, mas baduy, mas pangit, mas hindi cool; mas okay. Anti ng anti, the worst, the better.

How did Giant Robot get to you, what’s the story, and how did you land at their show? How is it hanging out with the crowd there and in the city?

Noong nasa Los Angeles si Manuel Ocampo (another super cool artist/ painter), binigay niya yung portfolio ko sa GR people, tapos nakatanggap ako ng e-mail kung gusto ko daw mag-show sa kanila, sabi ko okay!

Okay naman, medyo masaya kasi mas sinusuportahan nila ang mga artist doon kaysa dito sa ’Pinas. Marami ako naging kaibigan doon, isa na si Jordin Isip. Ilang beses na rin kami nag-collaborate sa mga shows, kadalasan sa New York. Medyo mahirap talaga tumira sa ibang bansa, hindi mo ito territoryo, ikaw ang mag-a-adjust hindi sila, ang good point lang noon, sobra ako focused magtrabho duon. Pareho lang dito sa ’Pinas dun, nagiging superficial lang lahat dahil napapanood mo ito sa TV or nababasa mo sa magazine. Madumi sa Queens at mabaho din lahat ng tae nila.

So what’s next? Did you get another invitation to do a show there?

Show pa rin sa labas at dito, motivation ko ay mag-work lang ng mag-work, ito na kasi yung napili kong career, hanggang mamatay ako.

Do you only engage with underground indie stuff or you also do mainstream work, or whatever comes your way?

Mas gusto ko sa mainstream, mas masarap mambasag ng idea dito dahil mas marami kang audience, mas engaging yung palitan ng idea, dog-eat-dog, labu-labo, walang mahirap, walang mayaman, lahat pantay- pantay. Kung hindi mo makuha, iwan ka, next time na lang ulit, parang ganun, masyado na kasi mabilis ang buhay dito sa Maynila, hindi mo na alam kung anong susunod na mangyayari sa iyo, baka bukas kumakain na tayo lahat ng [lata ng] sardinas, at naglalakad ng patalikod.

Log-on to giantrobot.com or e-mail nucleus_mst@hotmail.com for feedbacks.

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November 23, 2007 - Posted by | interview, komiks | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Nardong Tae 4 available now at Sputnik! sputnikcomics.multiply.com yey louie!

    Comment by averagejuana | November 24, 2007 | Reply


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