EL BARTO, the graffiti alter ego of mischievous protagonist Bart Simpson, first appeared in episode three of The Simpsons in January of 1990. His tag sporadically appears on the police station, elementary school, drainage pipes, chalkboards and various walls throughout the fictional town of Springfield, and despite Bart’s uncanny likeness to the character sometimes drawn next to the signature, his identity remains a mystery to most. Countless numbers of both licensed and bootlegged merchandise bear the EL BARTO name, and in a case of life imitating art, one San Francisco man was arrested in 2018 for spray-painting Bart’s face and catchphrases citywide. Display items are from Roger Gastman’s private collection.
BEYOND THE STREETS New York, 2019. Photo by Desdemona Dallas.