For decades, Dave Daniels, the original owner of Little Haiti's Churchill's Pub, lived in a quaint house behind the bar. Just outside his window, live music wailed, drunken lovers humped on his washing machine, and petty fights raged. Daniels has moved on from his life in Lemon City. But his former abode will temporarily serve as a pop-up shop for work by Ahol Sniffs Glue. The artist is bringing his Cyber Trap Boutique from the internet to the real world. And in proper Miami fashion, he's also bringing the party with his recognizable merchandise.
To complement the pop-up, he'll host two parties with solid lineups at Churchill's on opening and closing nights — one Wednesday, June 6, and the other Saturday, June 9. The parties start at 10 p.m. when the pop-up closes for the night. Opening night will feature the artist's good friends, whom he calls "Miami powerhouses": beatmakers Otto Von Schirach and Oscar G. The mural on the house's exterior reveals the two musical talents' portraits, created by Ahol. "So it was only right they set it off and get shit popping," Ahol says.
Closing night will feature JT Money of Miami hip-hop heroes Poison Clan, known for the ubiquitous Miami party tune "Dance All Night," as well as garage rockers Jacuzzi Boys. "I am a huge fan of both, and they represent properly. Together, [they] encapsulate the anything-goes flavor of what Miami really is," Ahol reflects. "[It] will be interesting to see who turns up from the other two nights for the in-house programming." He's referring to the other events and surprises at the store the days between the concerts.
"Nassie [Shahoulian, the promoter, as well as New Times contributor] was the one who reached out to me to see if I was interested in doing something at Churchill's," the artist explains. "He's been a good friend and we've worked together before, so we kicked ideas around... I asked if I could take over the house behind Churchill's, and a couple weeks later, he somehow made it happen. Churchill's is awesome, and I've been going there forever, so this definitely sounded like it needed to go down."
Ahol's online store is known by the superlong name "Aholsniffsgluecybertrapboutique." He sells authentic and limited-edition items for fans who might not have big bucks yet to spend on one of his more traditional artworks. It is an "effort to leave no demographic behind," he explains. This is his second pop-up. "The idea is to take the unique place, flood it with my highly recognizable eyeball pattern, and make it look nothing like it did before," he says of his intent to transform the space. "During this takeover, I go into overdrive, brainstorm, and create a somewhat ghettofied, boutiqueish, worthy, limited-edition run of apparel and other collectable, handmade, affordable items. These pieces are only available at the physical location. This creates a very inclusive, hometown-friendly experience in a place you may not normally see such a thing go down."
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He'll also sell pillows, shirts, hand-drawn empty cigarette packs, and flip-flops made in collaboration with Rider Sandals. "I think making merchandise is crucial and a representation of the type of artist I am," he explains. He sees his fine art and the merchandise he sells as complementary. "Lots of thought goes into each piece of merchandise and design," he says. "It's a fun gamble and shows my ability to experiment and communicate with my fan base." The merchandise also supports his art-making.
He's working on new commissions and murals around the country and internationally. Follow him on social media to keep up with new projects. Ahol is bound to be drawing more eyes — both literally and figuratively — from every corner of the world.
Cyber Trap Boutique Pop-Up Opening Night. With Lamebot B2B DJ Kramer, Oscar G, Otto Von Schirach, Barracuda Bacon, Jason LightSpree Carucci, BoomDraw, DJ Reaper, and Cebtronixx. 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com.
Cyber Trap Boutique Pop-Up Closing Night. With JT Money (Poison Clan) and Jacuzzi Boys. 5 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com.