I was fortunate enough to be able to meet Myke Dronez, CEO of Dronex Inc. a few days before the PRHBTN Gallery Exhibition opening. We talked for a few hours about art and whatnot, and I shot the idea to him about getting an interview for this site. Well, it’s been about a week and a half and I’ve been able to finally get an interview with the ever elusive CEO. Keep in mind that I am transcribing a text message conversation between the two of us, as he was busy in his studio working on his next piece of work.
**DISCLAIMER** Myke would like me to let everyone know, first and foremost, that he does work not only in the street, but he has had several gallery shows he has done work for as well.
What inspired you to come up with the ‘Dronex’ identity?
Well…I was making different anamorphic forms that were meant to embody certain themes. I was initially producing these ‘drones’ one by one on a pottery wheel like giant bowling pins with arms and legs. Eventually, deciding I needed to reproduce them in large numbers I scaled them down and began casting them in porcelain. This is kinda where my obsession for reproduction comes into play. After cranking out so many of these things your processes become more and more streamlined..I began to notice my methods mimicked those of a bonafide manufacturer. And so, I quit making art that day as myself, and Dronex Inc. was founded a midst the dust and rubble..Assuming the role of a faux corporate identity is great because it instantly adds a dimension of sarcasm to everything you do..It’s kinda like my job is being a parody, the corporate devil’s advocate.
As far as inspiration goes..People are my inspiration..We are ensnared by our greed and our gullibility..Entombed by the absurd..Expected not to utter a word..
So, do you feel that your audience picks up on this sense of sarcasm in playing the “corporate devil’s advocate?” Or do you feel as if people can’t pick up on the message you’re trying to portray?
Some do, some don’t..I think once they make the connection with the Inc. There are still
plenty of people that want to characterize me as some sort of writer though..One of the things about working on the street vs. the gallery is that you have less control over the
viewer..Sure enough, tons of people see it but they’re not walking into a gallery to see art
so the response is varied..Some feel threatened. Some dig it. I don’t expect my whole
artistic ideology to come through that though..
When you say writer, do you mean a graffiti writer?
Yeah..graff writer..Which is how I kinda got my start at 16..You get used to the “work” end of the game when you’re writin’..
What is your take on the sudden interest in the street art culture after the release of Exit Through The Gift Shop? Do you feel like it has become this sort of “commercialized” industry now that a big buzz has been stirred by it?
I mean..I feel like it’s a good thing if more people want to put in work..I think it’s kinda
funny how it’s portrayed sometimes..I think you can only commercialize defacement of property and jail sentences so much, but I suppose rap kinda does that..It’s always portrayed in a very glamorous fashion..Like people don’t die when they fall off billboards or get mugged in shitty neighborhoods, etc..Or pretty much forgo normality to dedicate themselves in a monk-like fashion..
Kinda takes away from what the culture was founded on, doesn’t it?
Yeah, but there is a lot of kids working now that are in this pop a poster on the corner and get famous mindset..But it all comes out in the wash..You can’t bullshit the street forever..The gallery on the otherhand..
Haha, good point. So, what advice would you give to an aspiring artist who chooses to put work out on the streets? Aside from dodging the fuzz and keeping a lowbrow profile?
First of all..There’s no aspiring artists..We’re all artists..Some just more expressive than
others..Dunno..I would hate to advise someone to suffer to the point of complete resignation but I kinda feel like that’s what drives me..I have to endure the valley to see the summit, but that’s me and I am borderline crazy with this shit..Soo..Go balls out! And be smart, of course..All the good ones are.
A bit off topic, but I just have to know what your thoughts are on the “Occupy Wall Street” movement? Do you feel like it will spark much needed change in this country, or do you feel like it will all blow over and people will forget about it by this time next year?
I think it’s good that there’s a starting point of widespread dissent. I think we’re in for a
long fight though..I don’t think much will be achieved through peaceful, non violent means
though..I mean..Some fuckin’ reciprocity is in order at this point..I think the American
people have lost the trust in their leadership as a whole which seems like a pretty
significant development..Sorta like being the green trend has expanded awareness..Maybe
average dips will be more inclined to consider where their dollars are spent..I also think
that it’s good for people to know how this nation’s police will beat their asses..Like, it’s a
big wake up call..As to just who get served and who gets protected..I actually just printed up some Guy Fawkes masks to paste up..I feel like the visual reinforcements are neccessary..The OWS people always have the worst posters..Bic pen on cardboard bullshit..We steady get beat down by corporate imagery and soft serve swill..If I can tear the smallest hole on that cloak of lies, I will..
Very true, reinforcements by the general population are needed in this troubled world we live in now. So, are we gonna be seeing any Guy Fawkes drones pop up in the area soon?
I probably won’t mix the two..I’m just donating my skill set to a good cause..
So, what’s next on your agenda? I know you just recently finished up the PRHBTN Gallery Exhibition, but what can we expect next from Dronex Inc.?
Well, I need to keep my nose (relatively) clean in Lexington, so I might start a sculpture or
something..just keep printing all winter? I don’t know, it never really stops. Louisville,
Cincy..I have an associate in Nashville who’s getting drones up there..
Sounds awesome man. Thanks again for the interview, was good chattin’ it up with you. I’ll swing by the studio soon and we’ll chill for a bit.
Be sure to check out Dronex Inc. on the web at http://www.dronexinc.com.