Bugelratte and ostfriesenfohn: “otto kummt na huus” (otto comes home)

Bugelratte and ostfriesenfohn: 'otto kummt na huus' (otto comes home)

People honking over the road could soon no longer be a rarity in emden. Starting saturday, the east frisian city will have the first traffic light with an otto sign showing the honorary citizen of emden in his favorite pose: as otto honking his horn.

How are people supposed to cross the road at grun? "The way it’s shown," recommends otto waalkes, who was in his hometown on friday. The art gallery emden shows until 22. September the exhibition "otto coming home – he kummt na huus". "This means a lot to me," says the 70-year-old, who was allowed to cut a specially created ottifanten cake – chocolate cream-raspberry – after the tour.

The east frisians like "their otto. In emden, he can’t get out of the pit at all. He poses for selfies, signs cards, posters and coarse and small plush-otifants in all colors. "It is sensational and unbelievable how high the identification of the people in east frisia is with the whole person otto," says kunsthallen director stefan borchardt. "Otto has always shown that he loves his native east frisia. The traces of the people."However, a lot of time passed before the otto exhibition in emden came true.

"This has taken years, so long that no one believed it was possible anymore. And now this! In my homeland: the ottifanten in the change of the art", the artist is pleased. "Now my aunt and uncle and my brother and his family are coming to see it. You are very close to me, and I place particular value on your judgment. I am curious how it will turn out."Pictures, sketches and persiflage are to be seen. Video recordings and exhibits from half a century of otto, "the pioneer of cultivated klamauks," as the "suddeutsche zeitung" once wrote.

Also on display are word formations transposed into drawings, such as the "bugelratte," the red "rotwild" and the laughing "lachmowe. Photos of otto with udo lindenberg and marius muller-westernhagen could not be missing, because all three once lived in a shared flat. On display are many satires, including one on the classic image of marylin monroe in her short sheer dress swirled upward by a jet of air. The title at otto is: "ostfriesischer fohn". In his painting, four small ottifants blowing powerfully from below provide for the wind. Otto always succeeds in adding a humorous touch to the originals with his versions, says borchardt.

The exhibition was also on display in hamburg until recently. Otto has lived there for many years. "Hamburg is beautiful and has an east frisian ambience in places. The whole thing is naturally a bit rougher, people live more anonymously than here in emden," he told the dpa. In the tranquil town of emden, everyone knows everyone else and people get to know each other. Can he imagine moving back to emden?? "Quite possible, all open. Why not actually?"

The city treasures him and makes him an honorary citizen of hamburg. Last year he received the federal cross of merit – this can also be seen in the exhibition. The fame has its price. In the german-speaking area there are probably few, who would not recognize otto immediately. Loss of anonymity is the keyword. "But if you have a certain image, like me, it’s positive," says otto. "People are happy when they see me. They shine. This is a health challenge."

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