Lango Oliveira‘s work has a hint of the apocalyptic in it. He has a knack for developing calamity through solid inking and a natural understanding of composition. In his murals, he depicts leviathans whose foreboding and pulsing nature transfers over to his tattoos. An admirer of fantasy, metal, and other cool stuff, Oliveira blends his influences to create a distinct class of tattoo art.
Lango’s work is timeless, in that it takes images fit to accompany medieval fables, and turns them into a modern form of art. There is Japanese influence, as well as a devotion to traditional style tattooing. Oliveira sometimes incorporates a black sort of humor into his art and purely embraces the distorted, catering to our morbid curiosity and fascination with our own repulsion. His more delicate imagery is just as vibrant- splotches of blood are replaced with soft shadows and rosebud lips take the place of bared teeth.
Oliveira is not one to put limits on his creativity. He has been putting his talents to walls for years, spray- painting and creating large- scale murals. These murals are not replicas of his tattoos, nor do they necessarily stick to the same themes. He often works with blockbuster lettering, and does back- to- back pieces that tether your eye to a leather leash and lead it around an entire wall dripping with color. Sometimes demonic, sometimes mythical, Oliveira’s murals exude an infernal aura. This comes through in his tattoos; even though the subject matter is slightly different, the storytelling aspect remains the same, as does the manic elegance.
Lango’s deeply embedded roots in the subcultures of the youth of Rio de Janeiro give his tattoos a raw credibility as well as a lawless kind of spontaneity that is missing in a lot of the generic tattoo work done today. His style is unmistakable, and serves as proof of a rare imagination; a cross between the Godzilla- sparring dreams of a restless kid and the nightmares of a brother Grimm. Lango Oliveira works out of Black Heart Tattoo in San Francisco.