Picture a winding country road where the pavement is cracked and dust rises in clouds at the slightest sweep of a breeze. It was in the Catskills, on a road like this, that filmmaker Otto Ohle first happened upon artist Martin Muñoz's antique store. That initial meeting ignited a thriving work relationship and friendship between the two, despite their almost 50-year age gap. For the last seven years, Ohle has documented Muñoz's life between the Catskills and his birthplace, Mendoza, Argentina.
When he moved to the US in 1970, Muñoz didn't speak any English. He got a job driving horse-drawn carriages in Central Park. When he realized how much tourists loved the horses, he figured he could one-up that with a llama. So he got a llama, named Chiqui, from New Jersey and hit the streets to sell Polaroid photo ops to tourists.
- Photo: Otto Ohle
- Martin Muñoz with one of his paintings and part of his book collection.
Since the 1980s, Muñoz has collected over 20,000 books for his library. "It's interesting to observe Martin from a filmmaker's perspective, but also as a friend and participant in capturing his dream as he makes it a reality," Ohle says. At 79 years old, Muñoz frequently travels to Argentina with more books to fill the library.
"Martin lives without borders, creating sanctuaries of cultural exchange in his library and antique store," says Ohle. "He's a pure soul; that's hard to find these days."