97. Justin Long

In honor of our People Issue, which will hit newsstands and computer screens November 25, Cultist proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature Miami's cultural superheroes. Have suggestions for future profiles? Email [email protected] with the whos and whys.

Courtesy of Justin Long
97. Justin Long

Artist Justin H. Long often sports the get-up of a wealthy, old, West Palm Beach, sea captain. Often appearing in bright pinks and aquas, he's not ashamed to wear a Lilly Pulitzer blazer to an art opening. The young artist isn't just a caricature of a wind-worn, raisin-faced sailor. He's actually a man inspired by the ocean and sun.

Raised in a motorcycle shop on the shores of the Miami River, Long is an amateur engineer who crafts somewhat functional sculptures that have a sometimes solid, sometimes shitty, sense of humor, and that speak to man's fascination with machines.

Along with his muse, Meatball, Long has organized events that border on unsafe through Funner Projects. At the Youth Fair, Bro, the boys created a homemade Gravitron, powered by a bicycle. This Summer, Long's amusing and beautiful short film, In Search of Miercoles, won the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami's Optic Nerve XII competition. The short is now part of the museum's permanent collection. 

Justin is not just a homegrown art star, he spent time in California

earning his Master of Fine Arts at CalArts and has traveled extensively

around the country in a beat-up, old Subaru. He not only makes the

goods, he also curate shows such as one with the most hateful non-artists he could

dig up to celebrate Valentine's Day in 2009. He's the

kind of guy who's confident enough to get his non-artist friends to

make crazy, filthy, mean art and serve it up to a large,

curious audience.

Though Long is spending the fall in Montreal, having been awarded a

residency with the Darling Foundry, he's certain to return and cannot be

counted as lost at sea.

1. List five things that inspire you.
- Warm water
- Tri-color topsiders
- Embroidered seersucker
- Anything French
- Jacques Cousteau

2. What was your last big project?
This year has been little about project time, focusing more on getting out of Miami as much as possible to explore. The last big one was "From Sea to Shining Sea" at Twenty Twenty.

3. What's your next big project?
2012 Hollywood Art and Culture Center solo and a few funner projects shows for Basel and 2011 at our new space (Little River Yacht Club).

4. Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do because it is all I know, and all I can do. I prefer to live in the art world, because the real world isn't for me.

5. What's something you want Miami to know about you? What's something you don't want Miami to know about you?
Despite looking extensively, I have not found a place better to live than Miami, and will probably keep my home base here forever. I don't want anyone to know that I have never tasted Cuban coffee before.

The Creatives so far:

98. Rosie Herrera
99. Rick Falcon

100. Ingrid Bazin

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Liz Tracy has written for publications such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, Refinery29, W, Glamour, and, of course, Miami New Times. She was New Times Broward-Palm Beach's music editor for three years. Now she plays one mean monster with her 2-year-old son and obsessively watches British mysteries.
Contact: Liz Tracy