Lango is a legendary tattoo and street artist I interviewed when I was working for Acclaim magazine.
With a constant increasing quantity of new faces showing up every morning, it is currently essential to find new perspectives for whom who hope to unite personal creations and commercial success in the trendy landscape of tattooing.
With nearly twenty years of practice, the Brazilian artist Lango today masters various tools like Guns, brushes, or even spraycans, with a highly recognizable and tasteful style. Without any art school background to orientate his technique, this multi-faceted creative artist now develops his original approach in his San Diego studio, from where he gives acclaim’s readers the opportunity to know a little bit more about his life and views.
COULD YOU TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT LANGO?
I grew up in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, where I started tagging at a very young age and was exposed to the skateboarding culture, punk rock, metal (Sarcofago), and was always hanging around older crowds. I had a few friends that were tattooers and they encouraged me to start tattooing, in spite of my hesitation. I started working at a tattoo shop as a counter person during the day and tattooed people at home.
WHAT IS THE CREATIVE PROCESS BEHIND YOUR WORK AS A TATTOO ARTIST, A PAINTER, OR A GRAFFITI ARTIST?
I use a different approach for each medium, but a lot of times it all clashes together. When I paint with oils or acrylics, I try to stay away from tattoo imagery. When I use water color, I work more with graphic tattoo related themes. My approach to tattooing is either graphic/traditional or very painterly, depending on the subject matter. With graffiti, I prefer letters over characters, but I also stay away from tattoo imagery when painting characters and look for a medieval or experimental character. My style focuses on old traditional and medieval imagery (skulls, dragons, snakes, witches, heraldic lurkers, etc.), and good old bio-mech.
AFTER ALL THOSE YEARS IN THE BUSINESS, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE WORLD OF TATTOO TODAY?
When I started tattooing, it was so hard to find information. It was like a secret world so whenever you learned something like making needles you knew that you learned something fundamental and that you had to master that also. I was lucky that I was accidentally around some of the best tattooers in Rio of that time. Nowadays, you can buy everything from home, and there are numerous TV shows related to tattooing. Thanks to those shows, every middle aged person that works into a tattoo shop brings some kind of wack reference, or sad story that has nothing to do with tattooing and expects to get a sleeve in two hours. What was so fascinating about tattoo was the fact that it was underground. Whoever was heavily tattooed was like a rebel, an outlaw. Now every poser has neck and hand tattoos before getting anything else.