Check out Ahol’s New Book of Digital Collages: Drug-Dealing Dolphins, Submerged Objects Part Of Miami Street Artist’s Imagery as published in miamiartzine.com
Success in the art world doesn’t come easy, and it is never guaranteed, just ask street artist David Anasagasti, better known as Ahol Sniffs Glue aka Alouishous San Gomma. I got a chance to chat with him about his new book, his career, his popular eyeballs, the future of his beloved Miami, and just life in this hectic city in general.
The artist has sacrificed a lot in order to get where he is today. About five years ago, he was propelled into doing #miamifulltime, after being fired from a corporate 9-5 job. During this time, he pulled many all nighters painting walls up and down, many full of his now popular eyeballs that seem to come up like bubbles from concrete. One by one, he sketched them to perfection-–the paint drying as the sun rose, his body aching.
Ahol’s hard work has definitely paid off, and due to his exito in the city he loves, he has been able to embark on his latest creative voyage, self-publishing a book of virtual collages. In Cellular Fuckery, he presents images representative of Miami, the bad and the beautiful–palm trees, water, dolphins (drug-dealing dolphins), gold chains, cocaine baggies, pools and jelly-fish. The colors he uses are also very Miami–pink and blue (Miami Vice colors,) bright tropical shades, and neon tones. He incorporates images from his personal and professional life like his ubiquitous eyeballs, gold chains or “Cuban links,” his hang out spots and a pic of him as a kid with a toy uzi, which he used for the book’s cover.
He had an official book release jam on June 17, 2017 at Rightside Recordings, a recording studio in Allapathah. During the low key gathering, the artists signed copies of his book to some of his close friends, art collectors, and fans.
Also an avid photographer, he takes pics of various images like those from television shows and from areas around the city on his cell phone. He crops objects (a security camera, a palm tree, an octopus) from his shots and uses them them to create collages, each unique yet thematically connected, filled with imagery related to Miami, a city full of decadence yet sublime natural beauty, a city with many issues, especially the threat of flooding due to climate change. He manipulates the pictures using an old photoshop app to create works of art that he shares with his followers on Instagram. He selected 40 virtual collages to compile into a book, a keepsake for his fans, a novelty for art collectors, and just a book of cool, trippy, some shocking but humorous, telling and intriguing–very-Miami art.
Why half-open, subdued eyeballs, I asked him? Anasagasti explained that they are from his Biscayne World characters, who represent the common person. The look a bit like zombies. He explained, that one body part that’s recognizable is easier for people to digest, and to be noticed in a sea of tags, you have to paint yours over and over and over again. So he painted the half-lit eye balls, eerily symbolic of the subdued masses, multiplied them all over town, and they exploded. His sought-after murals can be seen at Churchill’s Pub, Lotus House, the Urbanica Hotel, inside the DuPont Building, the Margulies Warehouse, and quite a few other local cultural treasures.
These images may have hit a nerve because a lot of people in Miami (and all over the country) are like zombies, half-conscious of the destruction occurring in their own back yards and unaware of the major cause of issues like climate change, eating meat. The masses are subdued, asleep, too concerned with making it through the daily grind to keep a roof over their heads in a town with rents rising like the sea level, too entertained by alternative facts on television, and too obsessed with the materialism of our consumer culture to pay attention to the fact that we’re living in the hottest summer ever recorded. Many people are stressed. Most believe they have to follow the same path to success. Go to school, get a 9 to 5 job, sit in traffic, eat animals, hate Mondays.
So, many medicate to make it through the day and put on the tube to forget about it, numbing themselves and buying into all the lies they’re sold. But as the population grows like Ahol’s eyeballs, they multiply like a virus over the earth, taking Mother Nature’s resources and not giving back, which is leading to global warming. If Miami and the country doesn’t wake up and stop fucking with nature and her creatures, we will inevitably drown as scientist predict by 2050.
Some of the pics in Ahol’s book eerily allude to a bleak future for Miami. It’s up to the common person to rise up against the oppression from the government, the lies in the mass media, and the rules of society that often stifle their spirits. Ahol explained that he chose the moniker Sniffs Glue to tribute the Ramones.
He wanted to be associated with punk rock, not hip hop as is typical of graffiti artists. Punk is all about the common folk rising up against the system and doing things their own way. The people of Miami need to rise up and take control of the problem, as impending doom peers down on the city like the foreboding sky of a hurricane. But, in the meantime, as we fight to save the city, we’re still going to have a good time.
Art is after all entertainment and Ahol is not just a visual artist but also a musician. You might catch him play an impromptu performance in noise experimental duo Handelsman & Ahol Sniffs Glue, as he did on July 22, 2017 at No Shit Fest at Churchill’s Pub. He said he’s been going to the bar forever and spent many fun nights there, and he has shots of the notorious bathroom and it’s artistic toilet paper rolls throughout the book to prove it. Anyone else who’s had good times at the punk rock palace will immediately recognize the chain-linked rolls, themselves a work of garbage art.
Shocking, funny, disturbing, prohibited, telling, and just trippy cool: these are all words that can be used to describe Ahol’s Cellular Fuckery
The book will be available locally at select stores like Sweat Records as well as online on the artist’s website http://aholsniffsgluescybertrapboutique.bigcartel.com/