On a rainy night four years ago, Miami street artist AholSniffsGlue left work with a new comforter and leftover soup. He headed home on Biscayne Boulevard. The hit-and-run that would follow and his recovery are well-known stories in South Florida. Already on the rise as an artist, he made the accident a catalyst for his work.
At the time, Ahol (whose real name is David Anasagasti) had forsaken his car in favor of a 50cc scooter. Later, he began using public transit as his sole means of transportation. He approached the experience with a romantic eye.
In 2014, he partnered with the Borsht Film Festival and released the short Biscayne World , inspired by his everyday interactions on the Biscayne Boulevard bus. The 11-minute video is an ode to the vivacity of the Biscayne corridor and the picturesque characters who inhabit it.
Earlier this week, the video was uploaded on Vimeo and made public for the first time. It was previously password-protected and only screened at festivals or shared among artists. The short was instantly selected as a Staff Pick by the popular video-sharing site and has amassed more than 20,000 plays in three days.
Biscayne World was illustrated by the street artist and directed by Michael Arcos and Marnie Ellen.
Later this week at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Ahol will sit alongside Borsht filmmakers Lucas Leyva and Jillian Mayer as well as his lawyer, Andrew Gerber, for a panel called Fuck You, Sue Me: Artist Rights, Corporate Theft. The artist is no stranger to controversy, and after successfully suing American Eagle Outfitters in 2014, he and his lawyers are well versed on the topic of corporate theft. It's no coincidence that Biscayne World finds a larger audience ahead of his SXSW appearance.
“I’ve learned that if people want me as a part of their puzzle and I ain’t fucking with them, they need to act right or holler at my lawyer," Ahol says over the phone with New Times.
"We don’t live off opportunity and exposure. We pick and choose what we align ourselves with. I respect everybody, so people gotta respect me. They don’t gotta like me, but they will know who the fuck I am whether they like it or not.”
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What might have remained a moment of bitterness after the hit-and-run accident has been immortalized in perhaps the greatest piece of publicity that the local transit system has ever received. What happened to his comforter and the soup? Or heck, what about the pasty, red-headed demon driver who almost took Ahol's life? It doesn't matter — he's over it.
"#MiamiFullTime is the empowerment of Miami, Cutler Ridge, Hialeah, Goulds, Liberty City, Overtown, downtown, and so on. We are all one. Help keep Miami relevant and powerful!” he exclaims.
See the Vimeo page here.