The old man and his bike, a familiar sight in the city. He’s never riding the bike, just shambling around, or seated on a small box on the pavement, playing the harmonica on occasions. One of the rare characters whom I believe everybody look upon with great sympathy.

Had a nice meet with a bottle-collector when doing this piece. He came over for a chat when he saw what I was doing. He knew Otto, liked mine work and said he would tell Otto about it. It doesn’t get any better than that!

– Thanks to Naem for the idea and Kalle for providing equally brilliant photos of Otto as a basis for working out the stencil.

I have to give a disclaimer to this piece. It was originally intended for a joint project. But when I learnt that is was for the offices of PwC I withdrew from that part of the project, I’m not giving anything to destructive capitalists. The version of the stencil that got put up at PwC is a fake based on a sketch of mine. It’s not my work. Anyway, this piece is where it should be – to put things right.

I’m sorry to say that later the image is “stolen” by the crappy artist Nimi of the Bart team. But I guess if you can’t make good images yourself you got to steal them. Hope none who buys the print think they’re paying for something I have made. Nimi is just a pathetic little prick.


19 thoughts on “otto

  1. Love this piece, and I have seen Otto numerous times in Bergen. I also love street art such as the one on the picture above, legally put there, or in the shadows of the night.

    I dont work for PwC, probably never will, but I do have the same educational background as most people working at PwC. I have friends working there as well, all good people! Because of this, I would like to ask you to not undermine your art with uneducated bullshit that (I possibly wrongly) assume you know little about. I hardly think the people at PwC are “destructive capitalists”, but would rather see them as hard working individuals that do their best to correct mistakes in the books of various companies. They also, even though we may not see it, prevent tax fraud on a daily basis, which is the exact opposite of being “destructive”.

    1. Thanks! I guess the debate about destructiveness of capitalism comes down to whether you enjoy the plundering of the world’s resources in order to support the conspicuous consumption of the super-rich, or whether you want a world order with equal access to resources within a sustainable system promoting common values and equality. Hard work supporting the wrong system will always be a step in the wrong direction no matter how decent, honest and hard-working you are as an individual.
      And you’ve got your right to claim that art should be apolitical. I disagree. There is no apolitical art, art that allegedly is apolitical, is de facto a support for the status quo, aka current regime, and hence political indeed.

      1. Your answer to my post is good, and I agree that capitalism has many bad sides. Communism, as I assume you are referring to, to some degree or other, would be really nice if only it could work in practice. However, history has shown us that this is not the case, and that, at least in my eyes, capitalism is the lesser of the two evils. Capitalism is, as you mention, definitely not Pareto optimal, but it has managed to get way more people out of poverty than communism has, and it has gotten more people out of poverty than into it. Capitalism is also combinable with social aspects of communism, which we to some degree have been pretty good at in Norway, making it, if you ask me, a good choice.

        That being said, I agree that it would be desirable to have an economic system where common values and equality would be the core. I just dont believe that will ever be possible due to human nature. Sadly.

        I see that your reference to destructive capitalists was a bit wider than I expected, and not an attack on the profession, but the economic system as a whole. I find that more acceptable than what I first assumed. I did not want to ask you to make your art apolitical, so I apologise for that bit of confusion from my side.

        1. Nice discussion here, but maybe not the best forum for it. I just want to ad that even though I may consider communism as more agreeable than capitalism as ideology, so sadly the forms of communism we have witnessed have had a lot of flaws. And I agree, the welfare state is not all that bad. As a street artist I’ll go for the libertarian socialism, but I guess I’m more of a utopian believing in the good in people and hoping for a paradigm change in the wake of the parallel crisis in economics and climate.

  2. I’ve had the pleasure of talking and helping Otto at many occasions. (When he came in to the shop). He might seem a bit odd, and at times a little harsh, but when you see him feeding the pigeons and playing music in the streets you instantly fall in love with this charming old man. Nice work, man. It’s beautiful and I’m sure it’ll put a smile on his face!

  3. Nersen says:

    Jeg er er så glad jeg flyttet til Bergen! Bodde på Danmarksplass ett lite år, og det var en trist skolevei til du fylte inn i rutene utenfor Forum! Nå er det alltid like gøy å gå rundt i byen for å lete etter nye picer! Blir utrolig inspirert av bildene dine og håper du fortsetter å utvikle deg! Hilsen nesten helkonvertert bergenser fra indre østlandet..

  4. Damn man, that’s awesome.

    I believe Otto is also the character behind the gallery Otto Plonk (Plunk?) opened by a bunch of punks in Bergen some decades ago. Fits!

    Also, stop with the communism bullshit and embrace dharmic-anarchism! 😛

  5. I never knew you had a blog! 🙂

    I have taken pictures of some of your work in Bergen earlier, and post them on my blog, and now when I know your bloglink, I will add it there. Very nice that you made this picture of Otto. He used to buy old record tapes in Fretex at that time I worked there. So if someone want to make him happy, give him your old music tapes and a recordplayer.

  6. dekorere driten, forstår godt du ikke vil dele den "æren" says:

    PwC also still audits Barclays, Bank of America, and Freddie Mac. After the TARP plan was initiated PwC got the job, along with Ernst & Young, of preparing the internal controls infrastructure at the Treasury to make sure money went out quickly and to the right banks. That open-ended procurement blank check is still in effect.

    So, what will happen to PwC as a result of these very dramatic criticisms of the quality of their audits, perhaps audits of some crucial financial services companies? The experience of Deloitte, the first Big Four firm to suffer the ignominy of having the PCAOB air its dirty audit laundry in public may be instructive.

    Pretty much nothing.

    PwC was the consulting firm with the most clients for the recent failed OCC/Fed foreclosure reviews. The firm billed more than $1 billion and will now be able to continue servicing those banks they don’t audit with more “governance, risk, and compliance” advisory services without worrying about any scrutiny.

    PwC is not worried about the PCAOB. They are laughing all the way to the banks. All of them.

    (I taped a podcast with Broc Romanek at The last week on Wednesday before the announcement by the PCAOB. Since Broc and I are totally in synch with the universe and saw this coming, we talked about Audit Committees, PCAOB inspections, and auditor independence. You can read Broc’s take on the PCAOB revelations about PwC, a long quote by critic Lynn Turner about the pitiful performance of PwC partners, and listen to the podcast, all here.)

  7. dekorere driten, forstår godt du ikke vil dele den "æren" says:

    Is paste and cut, not my artikel… 🙂 but it tells me what i nedd to know..

  8. I would love to see the original blogg – icluding the PwC still standing. Not that I fully agree – but I respect an honest opinion. Then to the fact that the Otto Piece is really a stencil taking street art to honour the street Icon of the city. Otto’s been around a long time – since he was just a wierd guy when I was a teen – til this day when he is 86. Love your work Argus.

    1. Well, I do not like street art to be framed, but I might just like it a bit more than it being swiftly buffed and prosecuted;) Framing is totally misplaced, but at least in a twisted sense somewhat generous and appreciative. Rather street art in a frame than a commercial billboard. Than again, if the owner of a property wants to frame a piece of street art, who am I to criticize her. Still, I don’t approve

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