South Florida Media Network Wire Service
Vittorio Parravano / Writer, SFMN
A new mural was spray-painted last week at Florida International University’s Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator by entrepreneurial resident David Anasagasti, a.k.a Ahol Sniffs Glue.
The 12-foot mural, which shows the artist’s signature eyes painted in red, solidifies FIU’s partnership with the famed Miami tagger while decorating the incubator’s creative workspace on the first floor of Academic Two at the Biscayne Bay Campus.
“The mural is aspirational,” says media executive Margarita Salas Amaro. “Here we have somebody that’s a creative practitioner and he’s an entrepreneur. He’s everything that we stand for here at the FIU Ratcliffe.”
Anasagasti was born and raised in Miami. His mother died when he was a teenager and he was forced to mature quickly. Before becoming an established artist, he worked many jobs, from bagging groceries to customer service. None of them satisfied him.
After a life-threatening bike accident, he was inspired to pursue art passionately. Now, Anasagasti’s work can be found all over the country and his brand is widely recognized.
FIU’s relationship with Anasagasti goes back a year and a half to when the institution offered him a mentorship position due to his eclectic background and life experiences.
Since then, they have collaborated on numerous projects to educate and inspire Ratcliffe’s students.
“I feel like we’ve gotten a good understanding of how fast it can go from idea to execution with the resources available at FIU,” says Anasagasti. “They could extract a lot more, but I feel that for the time that we’ve been working together on stuff, we’re doing a lot.”
Their biggest and most recent project was titled “Geographies of Trash: Cycling with Ahol.” In it, amateur art collectors participated in a digital scavenger hunt searching for pieces of trash with Anasagasti’s signature tag all over Miami. As a reward, winners received NFTs minted by the artist.
The up-cycled pieces of trash were also put on display at a rooftop party at the Paramount Miami Worldcenter during Art Basel Miami in December of last year.
“It’s basically making something out of nothing,” he says. “I just figured that… you know, there’s a lot of eyes and attention on Miami during Basel so why not emphasize this project that we’re doing?”
Now, Anasagasti is moving part of his studio into the Ratcliffe Art + Design incubator, where he will be working part-time.
“He wanted to leave the mural as part of his legacy,” says Amaro.
“It’s not only about his art,” she says. “He is continuing on to be a mentor at Ratcliffe. This isn’t the end of his journey here.”