Wynwood pa la pinga!
Artist Aholsniffsglue was born in Hialeah. Artist and New Times art critic Carlos Suarez de Jesus was born in Habana. The two Cuban-Americans have forged an alliance based in Little Havana's Mercenary Square studio gallery that's exploding onto the scene with Ahol's first solo show of new work in two years, "Full Time."
The dude known for the eyeballs is ready to shock and awe with new conceptual, video, 3-D modeled, and painted works.
His new work is inspired by the mundane, 40-hours-a-week, full-time work environments that have served as his economic engine. One, a porno company where he worked in customer service once had him stack and organize hundreds of old VHS skin flicks. When he had obsessively completed the task, they burned the tapes.
Here's what they looked like before:
And here's what they inspired:
The show also features a video produced in collaboration with Borscht fest alumnus Julian Yuri Rodriguez. It will creep you out and might even make you cry. Here's a freeze frame.
Ahol's style is characterized by a deeply rooted street art and graffiti background. Though he is best known for his murals, tagging, and stickers, Mercenary Square has allowed him a space to explore a new approach to art.
But the gallery won't box him in, either. "I'm still doing the eye stuff. I just painted a dumpster last night. I always have stickers in my pocket, and markers on me. I'm not gonna be running around putting up conceptual pieces in the street, but whatever happens, y'know."
Carlos Suarez de Jesus -- art critic, artist, and all around madman -- has a history in this city that goes back to the 1970s.
"Oh fuck yeah, bro, like what I used to do, I drove an ambulance during the Mariel boatlift era and the Macduffie riots, and I used to write speeches and proclamations for the Dade County Mayor's office," he explained.
Carlos is opening Mercenary Square as an alternative to Wynwood, which he says is increasingly gentrified and commercial.
"I want to mix shit up: urban art, music, different shit, on a totally unexpected barrio tip."
He last had a studio, the infamous Lab6, in the area during the Elian Gonzalez saga.
Since then, Little Havana hasn't changed much. The gallery's neighbors are a fade haircut shop, a storefront church, a tattoo parlor, a taco stand, and the 6th Street Container space, another avant-garde gallery.
Ahol says, "to do something off the grid, and to put my stamp on Little Havana is awesome."
Opening night should be one hell of an art party, including musical performances by Otto Von Bass Warrior, Mr. Feathers, Jose Blue Jeans, and complimentary drinks by Don Abuelo Ron Panama. There will also be an afterparty at the Vagabond.
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