Most people think of summer in South Florida as the slow season, when arts events cool down as the temperature rises. But not Ahol Sniffs Glue. The 36-year-old Miami artist keeps his “hustle going like an octopus,” he says, right down to his shoes, literally. They’re a pair of Nike Air Force 1s he received from a friend; he's adorned them with golden sea crabs atop an algae-like bedding, part of a last-minute art project involving a glue gun, red wax, and a crab trap.
“I can’t just sit around and wait for compliments and people to [come around and] stimulate my shit,” says the artist, demonstrating his nonstop work ethic by drawing even as he waits for his Instacart groceries to arrive. “I have to stay supersharp.”
So he works. Take, for instance, his Instagram account, which Ahol describes as schizophrenic; it's full of posts of everything from the fine jewelry he makes to the fittingly dubbed Nike "brain boots" mentioned above. Between posts, he's designed stickers, released a new art print through Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art, and collaborated with DJ/performer Otto von Schirach. And he's just getting started.
The Air Force 1s were a first for Ahol, who is more accustomed to painting murals than working on a smaller scale. But the artist has no problem thinking small for other projects he has cooking this season. There are the functional pieces of precious-metal jewelry he creates. (They can be melted down "for crack money," he specifies.) And then there's the series of colorful enamel pins of characters from his animated documentary Biscayne World.
Ahol has also gotten political, designing an "I voted" sticker for this year’s election, in partnership with Engage Miami. He has a remix planned with DJ Oscar G for his animated documentary Biscayne World, featuring original music by DJ/performer Otto von Schirach. And he's set his sights on Art Basel too. Along with artist partners Jason Handelsman and Swampdog, collectively known as the Huffer Collective, he's putting together an exhibit set to open in November at Locust Projects.
That's a lot of different work to wrap your brain around at once. But “ideas in my head [trying to make their way out] are good problems to have,” he says, adding that his productivity now is only making up for lost time spent working outside his field in the past.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
So for now, Ahol says, he welcomes lack of sleep and will gladly work during his vacations. And when he does need a break, he says, he heads to the pool at the Standard, home to an Ahol eye mural of its own. There, he says, he can find everything he needs to recharge for his next project.
“Food, water, and cold-ass A/C... and I guess cigarettes,” he says. “Those are my vitals.”