Peter Lagergen‘s tattoos resound with the war cry of a thousand mythical creatures, so fantastical and detailed that they demand closer inspection. As your eye begins to comprehend that you are indeed looking at human skin as opposed to a traditional surface, you are bound to wonder how Lagergen does it. Plucking scenes from twisted legends and gargantuan imaginations, he inks with no constraints, giving each piece, large or small, all that he has in him.
Lagergen’s technique is so polished that he is able to accommodate any setting and character, bestowing upon each that divine quality that defines his work. His plays on highlight and backlight illuminate the crucial characteristics of a given piece from carefully calculated angles, emphasizing the climax of whatever narrative the tattoo is conveying. His work is often a narrative in itself, soaked in symbolism and movement. He can create certain effects, like transparency and underhand lighting, that are challenging on paper, let alone on skin. It seems to me that Peter is a man of action, injecting his artwork with an overarching dramatic element that surpasses most people’s expectations of what can be done with ink and needle. I can imagine him working, heart pumping adrenaline, head bent low over his living canvas, etching finishing touches and leaving the grand tattoo to simmer in its permanent glory.
Penetrating the scenes of battle and damnation Lagergen has perfected is a transcendental, almost statuesque element that in my opinion, is what distinguishes his style. His renderings of the wing motif make an impression, catching figures in mid-flight as if they were incarnations of the Greek messenger Hermes. One of his pieces, that of a viking woman making honey, is an example of his ability to create atmosphere in limited space- her countenance is illuminated by fire as we look up at it, nothing but mortals. Lagergen’s “inverted mermaid”, as he calls it, is also a particularly curious piece, its curvature and shadows fusing together to create a delicately beautiful koi-woman hybrid.
Peter has the uncanny ability to splatter blood and gore in a regal manner. He can lock figures in battle, yet give them a stealthy grace, rendering an overall effect of fantastic adventure. His tattoos are hard to believe, and that’s what makes them incredible. Peter owns and works out of Malmö Classic Tattooing in Sweden.