Zur Primärnavigation springen Zum Inhalt springen Zur Fußzeile springen
Zurück zum Blog

Street artist: El Bocho

Girl with blue hair, by El Bocho, 2018

Portrait of a Berlin street artist: El Bocho

El Bocho (spanish for little donkey”) is not only one of Berlin’s most famous street artists but also one of the most recognizable.  Born in 1978, he’s been active in Berlin since 1997 and has a number of international exhibitions to his name. Being a designer and typographer during the day, he keeps going out at night to place his work – mostly paste-ups – all over the city though mainly in Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg, where he presumably lives. His identity is still something of a secret owed to the fact that most of his pieces find their way to Berlin walls without the landlord’s consent. All of El Bochos work is rather colourful and belongs to one of several ongoing series. His large female characters, almost always with long wavy hair, all exude a sense of melancholy and loneiness and they just might be all the same person – his girlfriend maybe.

Older paste-up of Little Lucy hanging kitty from a meteor.

Older paste-up of Little Lucy hanging kitty from a meteor.

Girl with blue hair, by El Bocho, 2018

Girl with blue hair, by El Bocho, 2018

Tina Berlina is El Bocho's streetart-character to educate Berlin tourists.

Tina Berlina is El Bocho’s streetart-character to educate Berlin tourists.

El Bocho - She Is Gone in der Kollwitzstraße

El Bocho – She Is Gone in der Kollwitzstraße

El Bocho in der Kollwitzstraße

El Bocho in der Kollwitzstraße

The oldest Lucy I know, still using a vey basic method to kill that kitty. It says "6 lives to go"

The oldest Lucy I know, still using a very basic method to kill that kitty. It says “6 lives to go”

a graffiti covered wall

El Bocho – Still Falling

Little Lucy killing the kitty by ripping it's head off.

Little Lucy killing the kitty by ripping it’s head off.

El Bochos most elaborate set-up to let Little Lucy have her way with the cat: a machine that turns it into "Hello Kitty".

El Bochos most elaborate set-up to let Little Lucy have her way with the cat: a machine that turns it into “Hello Kitty”.

A bit provocative, isn't it, the way her cleavage opens over this table in Schönhauser Allee

A bit provocative, isn’t it, the way her cleavage opens over this table in Schönhauser Allee

Another female portrait from 2018 by El Bocho.

Another female portrait from 2018 by El Bocho.

Paste-up by El Bocho in Prenzlauer Berg

Paste-up by El Bocho in Prenzlauer Berg

Actually this is when Ktty should be her most alert, when Lucy offers flowers, she's probably hiding a knife behind her back.

Actually this is when Kitty should be her most alert, when Lucy offers flowers, she’s probably hiding a knife behind her back.

For a change, El Bocho's creature Little Lucy with not killing Kitty and enjoys her swing. Paste-Up made out of a lace-like paper table settee.

For a change, El Bocho’s creature Little Lucy with not killing Kitty and enjoys her swing. Paste-Up made out of a lace-like paper table settee.

La maladie d'amour ~ the sickness of love

La maladie d’amour ~ the sickness of love

El Bocho's Little Lucy: A day at the beach

El Bocho’s Little Lucy: A day at the beach

El Bocho "Sometimes I am scared of all the colours"

El Bocho “Sometimes I am scared of all the colours”

Ganz was Seltenes: eine Kachel von El Bocho. Die Kameras kennt man ja, aber das Material ist neu, für uns zumindest die erste Teil von El Bocho. Streetart aus Mitte

Ganz was Seltenes: eine Kachel von El Bocho. Die Kameras kennt man ja, aber das Material ist neu, für uns zumindest das erste Teil von El Bocho. Streetart aus Mitte

If all else fails, take a tank. A rare paste-up using paper lace as base material.

If all else fails, take a tank. A rare paste-up using paper lace as base material.

 

Another series you find all over town is Little Lucy, based on a Czech children’s TV show . This cute little girl is out for blood – cat’s blood. Over the years Lucy killed that kitty in two dozen different ways from beheading via drowning to threaten it with a tank or turning it into a Miss Kitty. So far I haven’t found a good explanation for this good-humored hatred.  The most plausible thesis is, he moved in with his girl/boyfriend and she/he brought a cat to the relationship that the artist is not getting along with very well. But that’s as much guessing as everything else. Tina Berlina is another little girl that acts as an alter ego, specifically targeting issues of over-tourism. Last but not least, there are Kalle and Bernd, two CCTV cameras that are having short discussions from the mundane (what to eat) to the political (social networks helping dictatorships). As I said, almost all his work is pre-painted in his studio and then attached to the walls as a paste-up, but occasionally he paints directly on the wall, if he’s invited (there’s a rather new one at Holzmarkt) or uses media like tiles and paper lace.

Until May this years there were almost no new pieces by El Bocho, until the Berlin Mural Fest (BMF), that commissioned a piece. It seems like that created a huge boost in his creativity – or maybe there’s a book coming or something. Anyway, after the festival suddenly there was something new from him almost every week.

Links

Links zu El Bocho

facebook //

homepage //

Skip to toolbar