Video: Aholsniffsglue Presents “Biscayne World”
Miami artist Alouishous San Gomma aka AholSniffsGlue is in full stride as he continues to push his unique interpretation of art with his latest video short “Biscayne World”. The 11 minute short originally released by Borscht towards the end of 2014 has won awards and is included in numerous staff picks lists. Initially planned to be a series of individual shorts centered on the characters encountered by the artist on his daily bus commute up and down Biscayne Blvd., the entire project was re-conceptualized when those stand alone episodes lacked the juice. The result is the narrated version that is out now. I caught up with the #MiamiFullTime artist and we talked about his art, what the real Miami is like and how his legal squabble with AE and others has changed him and his artistic endeavors.
What prompted you to draw the characters you saw on your daily grind?
I’ve always been drawing characters. The Biscayne World drawings was a discipline I put on myself to try and make the most our of my day. I don’t know the exact day but it was probably a few days after my first trip on the bus. I rode from 30th and Biscayne up to 125th and the amount of time being wasted in commute was eating me up. So finding someone or something on the bus each day was my homework. Then when I would get to work and get my flow going I would pull out a paper and that would be my side project of the day. (Cubicle work was too easy, I made sure to do my sucky job well enough to give me the breathing room to crank out these drawings) my archives of characters from this project are more than a hundred
How did you start being represented by Miami’s Gregg Sheinbaum Gallery?
After I got ran over, I was in between galleries. I was with butter gallery where I did a show called 7.625floz, named after the weight of a glue bottle. I then went solo. I did a show in little Havana at a place called Mercenary Square with Carlos Suarez de Jesus called Full-Time. It was an exhibition of work developed from working in a non-creative work environment. It was probably one of my favorite shows I’ve done. Gregg Sheinbaum was contacted by a mutual friend and the gallery was familiar with my work and offered me a solo show. That show was called hit and run. It was kind of like a pity thing because he let me keep 100% of the sales. Gregg was happy with the turn out and asked if I would be interested in continuing to work with him and we been working together ever since.
What was the big takeaway from having your artwork appropriated by a big brand without compensation?
At first, the expected reaction is flattery and confusion. When you start breaking it down and realizing the magnitude of what is really going down, the flattery is long gone and the confusion becomes fury. I reached out to a few friends of mine that I trust and have much more experience in these situations and I was advised to seek legal representation. I can’t get too much into the specifics due to the settlement agreement but it’s pretty much the reaction you would expect.
We have seen a lot of attention being paid to Cuba lately including trips by artists to the island, have you been, plan to go?
I have always wanted to see Cuba. My brother and I were the first ones born here from my family and it was the forbidden land but it was also important that I go there and see for myself. This last November, I had the opportunity to go there with Oscar G, Lazaro Casanova, Ralph Falcon and El Chinodredlion. I went along with them and projected some visuals while they played. It was at a place in Havana called La Fabrica. We went for 36 hours and it was magical. We didn’t stay in a hotel, we kept it 100 and saw how our people get down on the daily. I hope all this Cuba talk in the news makes things better for my Cuban people over there because there are so many luxuries we take for granted here in the US that they would go crazy for.I hope to go back again and get to see where my family was from and visit what family I still have over there.
What was the realist thing you’ve seen on Biscayne Blvd?
I am surprised everyday living on Biscayne, it really is a channel of both good and bad energy.The weirdest shit I had happen to me on the bus some dude had a heart attack and shat himself by where is was sitting. I had my headphones on so I didn’t hear the commotion right away but I smelt the shit first. Fights on the bus are always interesting but the shit heart attack was pretty weird.
What is your next project?
I’m currently finishing up a music video with my friends and animators Arthur and Desi for Otto Von Schirach for the Biscayne Block song he let us use for the movie. Got a weird body of work I been sitting on waiting for the right moment to show it. Handling commission walls and canvas work and just keep grinding.
How do you see the gentrification of Wynwood affecting the artist community it was founded upon?
It sucks. To see that artists are used as a strategic component of the gentrification process. Neighborhoods are losing their identity and the rich get richer. I know my rent keeps going up because of this. I can’t event talk shit freely on Wynwood since my gallery is located there, and the people visiting buy my work. I have walls around there. It is just a sad formula that artists get put in and then get the rug pulled from under them. I can only hope with the current boom in Miami, the arts continue to get appreciated and funded and local artists can make livings off their work and not have to pickup and move to other places.
How has the notoriety changed you and your street campaigns?
Things changed a lot. I have to be smarter about shit. I still catch tags and put up stickers. I’m just much smarter and conscious of my moves. I don’t go out and do crazy shit unless I’m mad wasted and then I realize how stupid it was. I love painting, I love getting up, that will never go away. It’s weird being noticed but it’s humbling at the same time to know I made this monster and it comes with a new set of rules, not just legally but morally. Many people change how they carry them selves. I can honestly say I have adapted and still do what I want as long as I’m feeling it.
Best place people can find you in Miami?
I’m always up and down Biscayne. I don’t drive no more. I ain’t that hard to find