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About LicetBovi | Klas Rühling

LicetBovi | Klas Rühling is an artist based in Hamburg.

After studying fine arts in the early 1990s, Klas began a career as a multimedia/web designer.

A political activist in various contexts for decades, Klas was intensely involved in Hamburg’s Right to the City movement and played an important role in initiatives such as the campaigns against a tourist cable car or Hamburg’s bid for the 2024 Olympic Games.

For many years Klas was an active member of projects such as Freie Künstlergruppe Freiburg and 88 – Verein für Kunst und Kultur Sankt Pauli, organizing art exhibitions and cultural events.

Although being constantly artistically productive over the years, Klas largely stayed out of the art scene and the art business, apart from a few participations in group exhibitions.
Yet, with a rapidly growing repertoire of work, this abstinence seems increasingly inappropriate.

LicetBovi is derived from the Latin phrase “Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi“, which essentially means “What is allowed to a (higher-ranking) person is not allowed to everyone (especially not you).” By reducing the sentence to the last two words, the meaning is more or less reversed.
Klas adopted the phrase for Internet activities, at a time when a name with umlaut was problematic for online use.
It is an early example of Klas’ tendency to joyfully misuse and parody pieces of the bourgeois canon.

LicetBovi is not really a pseudonym, it’s not a name or a persona I hide behind. It is rather a kind of alter ego that poses for me.

γνῶθι σεαυτόν
2022; 30 x 30 x 40 cm; inkjet print of digital photo (2022) on foam board, lacquer, mirror, shipping box

Despite the official description of Klas’ course of study as “fine art painting”, Klas soon and fundamentally dropped the brush, with a few rare exceptions.
With Photography being the main means of expression, Klas felt a deficit of materiality and therefore began to work with material itself, soon combining and juxtaposing the two.

This led to the creation of photographic objects in which the photographic image is more than a mere depiction of a reality (or imagination), but also becomes its own “objective” reality. At the same time, “real world” objects such as packaging boxes (one of Klas’ preferred items) turn into a stage for an imaginary scenery, without entirely loosing their trivial, every day character.

Klas is fascinated by the deceptive character of commodity production under capitalism and therefore sometimes creates tongue-in-cheek forgeries of iconic objects such as museum-quality framed paintings.

Dithmarscher Landschaft
Dithmarscher Landschaft (Dithmarschen landscape)
2022; 71cm x 52cm; print of digital photo (2021) on MDF, polystyrene frame, gold bronze, cardboard sign; 71cmx52cm | The sign reads: “Johan Friedrich Meldorp, Dithmarschen landscape, Oil on wood, 1866”


Photographic by-products for home decoration purposes.
Mainly landscapes, vegetables and sheep.

LicetBovi at

Technically quite outdated, Polanoid still holds a treasure of instant photography.
Landscapes, cityscapes, still lifes and nudes. Even some dinosaurs.

As expected, some videos. Mostly performance videos resp. video performances.

LicetBovi for hire – information about web and design services (German).