interview: Dustin Orlando: Objex owner talks “lowbrow” and Bugs

Q: How did you personally get involved in lowbrow art?
DO: When I was a little kid I would draw cartoons. Then I would get more expressive and make my own version of things. I would add a skull and crossbones on Mickey Mouse – just make it my own. I have always had a love for illustrative artwork.

Q: Where are you from originally?
DO: Los Angeles. LA is the mecca for this style of artwork. Most of the big money is there right now.

Q: Where has your art been featured?
DO: The cover of Street. I’ve been featured in Juxtapoz magazine. Also, in egotrip, but I don’t really want to claim that one – and in different papers around town.

Q: How did you go about purchasing Objex? Is it your sole source of income?
DO: No, I work full time at an art gallery in the Miami Design District. Objex is like a car I’m restoring. I wanted to see a certain kind of artwork in Miami. I had to find a way to get the art I liked in so I got my own art space. This way I can further my own art and other underground artists that typically wouldn’t get picked up anywhere else.

Q: How would an artist, say a UM student, submit artwork to you?
DO: Any artist can submit. They just need to come by with slides, resumes, etc – be able to talk about their art background, goals. They have to match the same genre that we’re trying to display. No still lifes or apples, flowers and shit. It has to fit in with what we’re down with. It’s like having a hip hop club and then a country act try to play there. It just doesn’t work. Anyone can submit art, whether we choose to display it or not is another question.

Q: What kind of clothing and products do you sell at Objex?
DO: We sell clothes by Counterpoint Garments and Trash Rape. We also sell records and CDs on Counterflow Records. We also have limited edition prints from the shows – and then stickers and hats for the art space.

Q: So what is the best about Miami?
DO: The good thing is that right now Miami is on the forefront for a new beginning. It is at a turning point from becoming more metropolitan and less touristy and nightclub orientated. There are different cultures, and eclectic people. There is also an influx of money right now both internationally and domestically. It’s basically on the brink of something major.

Q: What sux about this city?
DO: There isn’t a lot of subculture. There is a lot of culture but it’s mainly Haitians and Cubans. There is a lack of underground and street influence. There is not much of a metropolis to feed off of. This is what we need for the younger generation.

Q: Do you believe “lowbrow” art will last the test of time? And is it disposable or will it evolve?
DO: I think it will definitely stand the test of time. It’s like Bugs Bunny; will he stand the test of time? Of course. Lowbrow art is just going to take longer to accept. I think 40 years from now people will look back at it and see that it really represented the “tie” and it will hold a mark in history.