by admin on December 17, 2012

in Art Galleries, Philadelphia Art Gallery, Philadelphia Photography, Photography, Uncategorized

Butch Cordora, Hot and Busted

Butch Cordora, Hot and Busted

 …gallery…Butch Cordora Photography, (art is easy)

Hot and Busted, a collection of mug shots gleaned by artist Butch Cordora of photogenic arrestees is the first thing you see entering …gallery…. DoN asked Butch why he decided to open a gallery now? Third Street, South of Market, has been under construction, like, forever, what the hell are they doing that’s taking so long?  Butch Cordora had the opportunity to take over the space he formerly curated for Ven and Vaida. The photography shows he curated there were all well received and publicized in the media and blogosphere. Butch Cordora said, “I decided to make it a photography gallery, it was very last minute, I didn’t give it much thought, I just did it. I’m psyched!”

Butch Cordora, Hot and Busted

Butch Cordora, Hot and Busted


The art in the gallery is intense with images of pop stars either in trouble or dead, portraits of bad boys, photographic homages to great photographs but totally gay and a cool collection of Vanity Fair magazine covers. The diverse collection of styles and concepts each have their space in the gallery, Butch Cordora knows how to hang an art show. DoN wondered how he picked the art for his first show? “Well, this is all my stuff. This is all me. I started, like, I started with me, first. Because it was easy, easy. In January I’ll start having different artists but the holidays, for Christmas and December, I decided to start with me. So, this is all my retrospective.”

Butch Cordora, Philadelphia Photography

Butch Cordora, Philadelphia Photography …gallery…Art is Easy


“It’s three years; it’s the Straight and Butch stuff, and this was last years show, The Absolution Show, with all the dead celebrities and celebrities in trouble and Hot and Busted, guys in jail. So, it’s 2010, 2011 and 2012. I did a solo show each year and this is sort of a retrospective of that.

DoN asked how the artist got the mug shots? Butch Cordora said, “Oh, it’s public domain on police websites. You can find them, yeah. 2,219 mug shots I went through and then I found the twenty-four hottest guys. But I went through two thousand two hundred and nineteen.” DoN asked what’s his criteria for hotness? “Well, what I think is hot, my criteria is what I find extremely attractive, like, these guys are all my type. They’re all kind of soap opera looking.”

What about the pop star photographs? “They’re all celebrities that are dead. Or in trouble. Or always getting in trouble. The show is basically troubled celebrities. Good people doing bad things. Bad people doing good things.”

Butch Cordora, Philadelphia Photography

Butch Cordora, Philadelphia Photography, …gallery…


“And you know the whole irony of celebrity and, you know, how they have it all. Money, Fame, Fortune, Relevance. That’s all the stuff I really like.”

The new photography gallery at 18 South Third Street is a welcome jolt of homo-erotic art in the Philly art scene. While some art sellers are showing pretty, accessible, comfortable art, Butch Cordora knows what art collectors really want in their private collections; rough, scary, difficult, messed up situations done in an fantastically beautifully artistic and timeless way. Butch understands celebrity and what people like.

The masculine portraits of arrestees is so contemporary and high concept using found photography, fantastically graphically presented to show collectors that you don’t need it pretty, you need it bad.

The collection Straight and Butch pays homage to famous photographers but replacing the characters in the situations with Butch himself and handsome men, both nude. Re-staging the iconic images in a very gay way is a fine line to walk but Cordora makes sure the presentation and production is impeccable, saturating the imagery with irony, satire and a pure spirit of gay pride so that people get the message.

Written and photographed by DoN Brewer except where noted.

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