A Conversation With Artist And Esteemed Butch Hero Ria Brodell

by: Ellen C. Caldwell
for Riot Material

Painter Ria Brodell has gained fame in the way they disrupt and update both the artistic cannon and history itself. In their painted series “Butch Heroes,” Brodell takes the form of traditional Catholic Holy cards depicting saints and martyrs, and instead paints “butch heroes” on a reinterpretation of the cards. Brodell highlights queer heroes from across the world and ages, showcasing and celebrating lesser-known, “butch” (female assigned, but masculine presenting) historical figures.

Brodell’s process is research-based in terms of uncovering these buried histories. Brodell visits archives and libraries, writing textual descriptions of hero and ensuring that these always accompany the images so that this history is also brought to light.

interviewed Brodell in 2012 before they had started showing the “Butch Heroes” series in gallery or museum spaces and was lucky enough to interview Brodell again now, six years later…

Read the rest here at Riot Material.

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