Culture

Protect Your Art: Ahol Sniffs Glue Talks To Us About Art, Accidents, And Rolling With The Punches

Ahol Sniffs Glue

Street artist Ahol Sniffs Glue may hold the world record for most eyes painted, ever.

His iconic eyeballs stare out from street corners all over Miami and beyond. A young graffiti artist of Cuban descent, Ahol tagged, painted and stickered Miami to the point that you can’t hide from the omnipresent eyes. His wild talent and dedicated passion have made him one of the most recognizable and respected street artists in the world. In 2014, Ahol found himself at the center of a scandal when retailer American Eagle used his artwork in a world-wide add campaign without asking permission or offering compensation. They settled the lawsuit out of court.

Ahol has played a big role in transforming the perception of street art from vandalism to high art. We caught up with Ahol Sniffs Glue to see what he had to say about life, art and his critically-acclaimed short film Biscayne World.

repost from @bodypaintography

A photo posted by Alouishous San Gomma (@aholsniffsglue) on

Credit: Instagram / aholsniffsglue

What are you excited about these days?

I still like writing my name on walls, and I still like stickers, but that’s kind of automatic. I’m doing jewelry stuff and selling it at the museum over here, the PAMM museum and The Standard. And the short film thing was pretty fun.

I went to SXSW; I did a panel talk with my lawyer regarding intellectual property and things.

About the American Eagle suit?

Not just that, but also going through that and knowing, as an artist, you do have rights and you gotta protect yourself. People’ve been bringing me out to different places to do different talks and empower people, to let them know that you can be an artist. You should stand behind your work and push it to many different boundaries and just know that if someone’s stealing from you, you do have a way of defending yourself with lawyers.

Do you feel like what you went through with American Eagle has affected your art?

I mean, as far as affecting me, it’s made me aware that this can happen to anyone. You have to [handle it] the right way. You can’t just go on the internet and start badmouthing people. Luckily I had a good lawyer, but I look at everything in a different way, you know? I tread lightly. It’s made me a lot more knowledgable about the creative world, the good and the bad, but it’s all punches we roll with everyday.

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Credit: American Eagle, via Miami New Times

You’ve said the characters in Biscayne World are an expansion of the eyeball…

I’m just continually trying to push the characters because it feels like the eyeball pattern and the eye went kinda viral, whereas the characters got left in the dust a little bit. But showing the movie and the story of it, people could see where it came from and my type of humor and approach to things.

What do you think it is about the eyeball that resonated with people so much?

To be honest, I know that the eyeball is something that’s been around forever. People can sympathize with it no matter what religion, no matter what language you speak. No pun intended, it’s iconic. [Ed. note: lol. Eyemazing.] It’s been around since hieroglyphics. There are some places where you wouldn’t be able to paint on a wall where they say, “Oh, no, we can’t have graffiti or murals or anything like that,” but they’re willing to let the eyeballs stay up because it’s like a pattern or a texture. I think people associate with it more because it kind of speaks to them in whichever way they want. The main objective to me is defining style, [and] for people to see it and be like, “Wow, that’s Ahol’s work.”

Credit: Instagram / archesart

Biscayne World features footage of you taking the bus after you got run over, and they totaled your scooter.

Even though I got run over, I still had to find a way to work, you know? It was basically making the most out of that situation. Even getting the footage from the actual [traffic] camera…

The funny thing is that we didn’t grow up rich or nothing. We grew up highly trashy. It’s kinda weird to see that you’re always like, “Oh, you can rely on the police, the police are gonna help you out,” or whatever. And then you get run over, and it’s not your fault. You’re hoping that the police are able to use these cameras that they have up there, and they end up just giving you a souvenir of you getting run over and not helping you because they never caught the lady [who ran me over].

You’re probably the one person that was able to use that souvenir as art.

That’s why I’m so proud of that movie, even though [when it comes to] short films, there’s not a bunch of money to be made or anything like that. But it got into a bunch of different film festivals and it got me to different parts of the world and it showed that people are interested. For Vimeo to make it a staff pick was really humbling. They never caught the lady [who ran me over], and I don’t wish her anything bad, but hopefully she’s not out there running people over, you know?

It’s that Cuban ingenuity, you know? Whatever you throw at me, I’m gonna make something of it.

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Credit: mitú

Tell us about some of the other work you’ve done.

I have done stuff for Lotus House, which is a battered women’s shelter. I did their logo for them, the little girl. For the eyes, for instance, I made them into hearts, and on the hairs, I put little bowties, so it was kind of a way of cleaning it up and making it aesthetically nicer for the type of situation it is.

I pick and choose what charities I align myself with, but those people are amazing. I mean, I’ve lost my mom to cancer, so to see women who need help, it makes me feel really good to be able to help out, especially with my art.

Did you lose your mother when you were young?

I was about 22 when I lost her to cancer. It’s something that you never forget, but it’s life, you know? You gotta roll with the punches. Sometimes those punches hurt more than ever, but you gotta deal with it, you know? Life is gonna keep throwing curveballs. Losing my mom really added a layer of realness to my life. Not holding back for nobody.

Do you feel like that affected your art?

When I was going to see her at hospice and taking her to chemo, […] it did make me question what I was doing. “Should I go to school for this or that?” It strengthened me a lot. Art has always been something I can rely on. But it’s rough. Everybody’s dealing with different things, that’s why you gotta treat people good.

Credit: Instagram / aholsniffsglue

Do you feel like there’s a message that runs through all your work?

Pretty much the whole concept of the movie and the way that I go about life is “every second counts.” Everything matters. Everything’s important. Even a little tag under a sink in a bathroom will be seen by somebody. And I’ve said it quite often it’s like living as a ghetto astronomer where you’re constantly tying constellations together and just making everything work. That’s why that whole balance of being able to flip stuff in the fine art gallery setting, but also still you know being able go to the ‘hood and paint something. Turning the corner always.

How do you think your work got so popular?

When people ask, “How come you’re up everywhere…?” to me it’s just second nature. It doesn’t take that much. If you’re remembering your wallet, and you’re remembering your cell phone, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t remember your stack of stickers and a marker. And that’s just like daily life. When people say, “Oh, nobody cares what I do, nobody listens to my artwork. I’m better than this person, I’m better than that person,” but that’s the good thing. You’re in total control of the frequency of what you put out there. So if nobody cares about you or likes what you do, well at least they know [your] name.

Did you ever think as a child that you would grow up to be a famous artist?

No, it’s crazy. I try not to listen to the wake that I create. I try not to get jaded by the ups. Sometimes they’re just as powerful as the downs, so got to just keep pushing and pushing.

I also gave a TEDx Talk about rolling with the punches. I made the best out of every situation. There’s time to sit down and cry about stuff you know, but I feel like one of those hippie buses that could run on gasoline, diesel or cooking oil. So whatever it is, I’m gonna make it work. The world doesn’t owe anybody anything, you know what I’m saying? We gotta make with what we got. A lot of times I felt that I got the shitty end of the stick because I didn’t get to go to art school and a lot of stuff, but you know what? I am who I am, and it is what it is, and thank God that everything happens how it happens. I just ask to be able to interpret and deal with whatever comes my way on a daily basis. As long as I go to sleep fine that’s all that matters, you know?

We totally know. Ahol continues to tour the country painting and inspiring fellow artists to live their lives to the fullest. Check out his raw and beautiful TEDx Talk and keep your eyes peeled for his new animated music video coming soon at www.aholsniffsglue.com

BONUS: Below, check out the teaser for Ahol’s video for Otto Von Schirach’s “Biscayne Block.”

READ: These 6 Artists Are Taking Their Work Beyond Gallery Walls And Into The Street

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A Dating Website For Uniformed People Claims A Married Cop Suing Them Isn’t As Innocent As He Claims

Culture

A Dating Website For Uniformed People Claims A Married Cop Suing Them Isn’t As Innocent As He Claims

If you’re in a relationship, hold on to them tight. If you’re not, good luck out there because the dating world is mad crazy. Trying to meet people, especially online (is there any other way?) it is rough. Millions of people are trying to find love via dating websites, which means the competition is steep. It’s also challenging to make people not swipe left, meaning, getting someone to be interested in you based on your picture alone is the ultimate goal. So what makes people interested in someone else? If you’re a woman attracted to men, it’s pretty much the same thing since the beginning of time: tall, dark, handsome, and a man in uniform. That brings us to this hilarious yet unfortunate story.

A Florida cop has filed a lawsuit against a dating website for using his picture for marketing purposes. Oh yeah, and he also happens to be married.

Credit: @wackymoe / Twitter

Before we go on, we know what you’re thinking: this cop lied to his wife, set up a dating profile online, and got caught, so now he’s suing the company, acting like he had nothing to do with it. 

However, companies of all sorts have been caught in the past for wrongfully using images without permission simply because they came across a random image online. Also, the man is hot! So, of course, these online dating websites would want to attract users by using the image of an attractive young police officer (in uniform) as a way to lure in people who are starving for love (or something else, wink wink). 

David Guzman alleges that he had no idea his image was being used as a marketing ploy for online dating websites until his friends came across his advertisement.

Credit: @Kaygirl8Lawana / Twitter

According to court documents, last year Guzman said his friends told him that they had seen his picture and informed him like ‘hey, dude isn’t this you?’ Another person who found out: his wife! Yikes!!

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that his wife asked Guzman why his picture was on a dating website, and he responded to her by saying he “had no idea.” Okay, like that’s going to be enough for her to believe him. By the way, the advertisement that accompanied his picture said: “Bulletproof vest? Nah, it’s all muscle” Catchy and enticing! But yeah, he said he did not write that either. 

The 33-year-old police officer contacted the owner of the dating websites and demanded that they take down his picture from UniformDating.com.

Credit: @joshuarhett / twitter

NSI Holdings, owner of Cupid.com and UniformDating.com, didn’t take down the picture. First, they demanded that Guzman show identification, which he did promptly. Then NSI Holdings alleges that they found a dating profile that included his name, his age, and his birthdate and his email address.

Their argument is they have a right to use his picture because he apparently has a dating profile. They’re saying that either Guzman or someone close to him, started a profile and used his information. NSI Holdings also found that the person attached to that dating website did go on UniformDating.com and “that creation of the profile was a momentary dalliance.”  

Furthermore, people who use NSI Holdings dating website sign the terms and agreements which state that they can use your image and information as they please “to reproduce and broadcast the information contained in your profile including your name, photograph” and other submissions “for marketing and other purposes,” without compensating the user. Now that is some kind of bullshit. 

Guzman alleges that the company has still not taken down his picture, and he’s not rolling over and taking this kind of harassment.

Credit: @FCN2go / Twitter

It’s unclear what Guzman is asking for in his lawsuit, aside from the company taking down his picture, but we’re sure some monetary payback is in order.

“Defendant’s use of plaintiff’s image, likeness and/or identity in connection with a dating service impugns plaintiff’s character, embarrasses him, and suggests — falsely — that he, a married person, is presently dating and seeking out other partners,” the lawsuit states according to the New York Post

Legal docs go on to state, that Guzman is “a married man and respected member of his community who has been caught with a profile on an online dating website.” Or perhaps he just got caught with his pants down, so to speak. No! We remain Team Guzman. 

Who do you believe? Let us know in the comments.

READ: Check Out Some Of Yesika Salgado’s Best Clapbacks To Creepy Men Hitting On Her On Dating Apps

This Peruvian Queen Has Been Brought Back To Life In An Ultra-Realistic Sculpture And People Cannot Believe She’s Not Real

Things That Matter

This Peruvian Queen Has Been Brought Back To Life In An Ultra-Realistic Sculpture And People Cannot Believe She’s Not Real

odnilsson.com

Have you ever wondered what your ancestors looked like — if you shared the same cheekbones, hair texture, skin tone or smile? Sure, some of us have seen illustrated reimaginings of our ancient forebearers, but there still remains a longing to know what they might have looked, felt or sounded like in real life. In Sweden, one man is using his artistic talents and archeological knowledge to give us a glimpse of our primordial relatives.

Oscar Nilsson is a sculptor and archaeologist who specializes in reconstructing faces.

Credit: odnilsson.com

Since the 1990s, he’s been using his skills to hand-sculpt the faces of people who lived hundreds to thousands of years ago. Through his company, O.D. Nilssons, the creative works with various museums to help restore faces of people whose remains were discovered during archaeological excavations.

In the past two decades, Nilsson has revived more than a dozen primitive individuals. He has restructured a young woman from the Stone Age, who lived in what is now Brighton, United Kingdom about 5,500 years ago. His reimaginings show that people who originally inhabited the area weren’t white but rather a deep brown that resembles those from North Africa. He recreated the face of an 18-year-old girl who lived in modern-day Greece about 7,000 years before Christ; a malnourished, anemic man who lived during the Bronze Age about 3,700 years ago; and a well-built man with a “Suebian knot” who lived in Britain about 2,400 years ago in the Iron Age.

In addition to the unnamed progenitors, Nilsson has also used unearthed remains to restructure the faces of leaders of the past world. Through his work, he has brought to life Birger Jarl, the ruler of Sweden from 1248 until his death on Oct. 1, 1266, as well as Estrid Sigfastsdotter, a rich woman who lived in XI century AD near Stockholm and died around the age of 80 at a time when the life expectancy was about 35 years old.

One of our favorite Nilsson reconstructions, however, is that of Huarmey Queen, a Wari monarch woman from what is today northwest Peru.

Credit: odnilsson.com

In 2012, a Polish archeological group found a burial of the indigenous Wari culture, which would later become the Incan Empire. The tomb carried the remains of 58 noblewomen of different ages, all buried with “extraordinary luxuries.” Huarmey Queen, for instance, was entombed with jewelry, gold ear flares, a silver goblet, a copper ceremonial axe and expensive textiles, among other splendors. In his sculpture, the woman is seen aged, with peppered hair and wrinkled skin. She has deep brown eyes, sharp cheekbones, lightly golden skin and large gauges in her ears.

Nilsson is able to make his restorations through a process that requires much time, patience, skill as well as anatomical, archaeological and historical understanding. The sculptor uses skulls discovered during archaeological digs as his base. He digitally scans the remains in an effort to perfectly map the craniums, using a 3D printer to rebuild them. With his knowledge of anatomy, he then overlays the restructured skulls with muscles. Using DNA analysis of the corpse as well as the surroundings of the site where the remains were found, he adds details like skin, hair, eye color and clothing.

In his work, he uses skin-pigmented silicone, actual human hair — which he inserts strand by strand — and prosthetic eyes. The entire process for one face restructure takes about 200 hours.

Credit: odnilsson.com

“The human face is a motif that never ceases to fascinate me: the variation of the underlying structure as well as the variety in details seem endless,” he says on his website. “And all the faces I reconstruct are unique. They are all individuals.”

As a university student, the artist studied archaeology, hoping to become a forensic artist. The man, who says he is fascinated by faces and history, told the DailyMail that he “wanted to see what the people from history look like.”  

Through his collaborations with museums, which hire him to recreate faces for various historical exhibitions, he is also able to give people a glimpse of what their own ancestors looked like. For him, his human-like sculptures are both a window into the past as well as a way to engage youth in history.

“I hope people get a feeling of ’I know this guy,’” he said. “It is the most effective way to make history relevant, especially to the younger generations.”

Read: The Aztecs Built It Out Of Human Skulls And Archeologists Are Starting To Uncover Its Mysteries

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