Born in Stavern, Norway 1950. Moved to Denmark 1965. High
School. Studied sociology at University of Copenhagen. Refused military services, and
instead worked at a library in Vanlose, Copenhagen for one year in 1975. Worked in a
political bookshop for 10 years. Worked for Greenpeace. Apprenticed as a tattoo artist at
Tato Svend in Nyhavn, Copenhagen. Started "Kunsten pa Kroppen" in 1988.
One of the first to pick up tattooing by hand, using a
technique that has been around for thousands of years, but is not much known today (used
mainly for special designs, though)
Works mainly in Black and White. Graphic and simple.
Using a wide variety of ethnic & historic designs from all over the world, as
inspiration for his unique tattoos.
Motto: Bold Simplicity and enhancing the
Erik has many times been lecturing about the art and history and culture
of tattoo. To school children, students, art groups, etc. He has also participated in
several programs on radio and television.
In 1996 Erik was accepted as a member of BKF - the Artists'
Union in Denmark, as the first tattoo artist ever.
Also many years member of APTA - Association of Professional Tattoo Artists (England)
National Tattoo Association (USA)
Tattoo Club of Great Britain.
from January 1st 2015
after almost 30 years of tattooing.
I have always been somewhat of a 'first
I was one of the first to move out of the old tattoo areas in
Copenhagen - Nyhavn and Istedgade - when I opened my first
Studio in Gammel Mønt., which is a street in the central, old
The Studio was situated on the second floor as oposed to all the
rest who were either in a basement, or at least street level.
All the other tatto shops were called something like:
'Tattoo-Peter, Tattoo-Ole' etc.
I called mine: Kunsten på Kroppen - The Art on the Body.
I think that said someting about what I wanted with it.
My opening hours were Monday to Friday 11-18.oo - all the rest
were open till late at night and in weekends.
Right from the beginning, I developed my own
designs, based on historical motives.
Especially from the Viking Age and Bronze Age (Petroglyphs).
I have always preferred to design most of my things directly on
the body onto which the tattoo was meant. Even when I have
designed on paper first, and transferred by stencil, I have
always considered the body first.
In time I developed the dot shading technique. Nobody else at
the time used it.
But after it had been mentioned and shown in some publications,
a lot of other tattooists has taken it up, and now it has it's
own category in the tattoo world.
The same goes for my interest in tattooing
with the historical techniques.
I had been thinking a lot about how they actually tattooed beack
the, in the Viking Time and even earlier.. They had no tattoo
machine (it was invented in the late 1800's).
So I started tattooing by hand without the use of a tattoo
I did use needles (They have been used ever since the invention
and I used thorns, and even flint stones. I am pretty sure that
when I did the first flint stone tattoo, it was the first time
in thousands of years.
After it had also been published in some magazines, a lot of
tattooists has taken it up (it was appealing to the zeitgeist),
and today whole books are dedicated to the art of tattooing
without the use of machines.
In 1996 I was the first ever Tattoo Artist to
be accepted into the Danish Union of Artists.
Now I have reached the revered age of
retirement, and have passed the torch to the new generations,
whom I hope will drive Kunsten på Kroppen further.
And develop it to new heights!
A sincere thank you I will extend to my
faithful customers through the years,
who has been open to new ideas and developments and been willing
to carry them on their bodies.
I hope they still feel they carry Art on their
- Best large, female, Tattoo Expo -Dunstable 1990
- Best large, female, Convention Internationale de Tatouage - Paris 1991
- Best large, female, Tatoveringsfestival - Kobenhavn 1991
- Best black'n white, Tatoveringsfestival - Kobenhavn 1991
- Best legs, Tattoo Expo Syd - Malmo, Sweden 1995
- Best Female Backpiece, Swedish Tattoo Convention, Norrkoping 1997
- Best Overall - male, Tattoo Expo III, Malmö, Sweden 1997
- Best Overall - female, Tattoo Expo III, Malmö, Sweden 1997
- Best Backpiece - Female, Tattoo Expo IV, Malmö 1998
- Best Overall - Female, Tattoo Expo IV, Malmö 1998
- Honorary Artist - First Viking Convention, København 2000
Denmark's finest tattoo
- Ekstrabladet, September 2006
- Best Ornamentic - 11th Stockholm Ink Bash 2007
- Tribal/Celtic - 4th annual Calgary Tattoo & Arts Festival, Canada
- Richard og Valborg Tycho's Fund 2007
- Richard og Valborg Tycho's 10th anniversary Fund 2010
- Best historic tattoo - the National Museum competition 2013
Tattoo Art Exhibitions:
- Touring exhibition at Danish Public Libraries 1989-90
- Tatoveringsfestival in Odd Fellow 1991
- Gallery Jensen, Stavern, Norway 1993-94-95
- Gallery Rasmus, Odense, Denmark 1995
- Tattoo Expo, Norrköping, Sweden 1996
- Gallery Jensen, Stavern Norway: "The Gumozos are Coming" with
sculptor Steffan Herrik, 1996
- 1997: Look at
News Page for further comments, and pictures.
- Easter exhibition: Gallery Jensen, Stavern, Norway: "Return of the
Gumozos" with sculptor Steffan Herrik
- May: Swedish Tattoo Convention, Norrköping, Sweden 1997.
- August: The deserted church (900 years old) at Buderup in Jylland with
- September: Tasiilaq (Ammassalik) museum in East Greenland
- November: Tattoo Expo III, Malmö, Sweden
- 1998: There
is more about the different parts on the
- May: KroppsKonst Mässan '98 (Body Art Convention '98),
- August: Maritime Centre, Svendborg, Danmark
- September: Gallery 108 in Roskilde, Danmark (with Steffan Herrik and
Birgitte Lykke Madsen (Painting))
- October: Gammelgaard in Herlev: Body - In and Out
of Time With Steffan Herrik (sculpture) and Laurie Grundt (painting)
- November: Kridthuset in Stege. Black on White
With Steffan Herrik.
- November: Øksnehallen in Copenhagen: Hyper Hall
98. Modern fashiondesign. Workshop.
- 1999: See
more at the
- Marts: "Punkterat Skinn" a
tattoo exhibition at Vägstationen in Brösarp, Skaane, Sweden
- August: Espergaerdeudstillingen (with
- Oktober: DGI-byen, Copenhagen
- November: Big manifestation in Bergens
Kunstforening in Norway (with other artists)
- 2000: See
- July: Weekend at Lejre Historical
Research Center (See
- July: Gallery Jensen in Stavern, Norway
(with Steffan Herrik)
- September: First Viking Tattoo
Convention in the Valbyhallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
- July: Lejre Historic Research centre
- September: Second Viking Tattoo Convention in the Valbyhallen
- October: Cultural Night in Copenhagen at Gallery Rasmus.
- May-July: Norn exhibition at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, USA. With Steffan Herrik and Astrid
- July: Lejre Historical Research Centre
- September: Solvogn celebration.
with French photographer Claire Artemyz
October Exhibition at Birkerød Art Society with painter
Ingrid Duch and sculptor Henrik Troelsen with reception of Tycho's Fund.
Read an article in the Danish newspapers
Frederiksborg Amts Avis or
Qaqortoq Museum - South Greenland: Kakiorneq
- Tattooing through the ages.
September-October: Participate in Tycho's Fund Ten Years Anniversary
All of Erik's photos donated to the National Photo Museum at the Royal
Library in Copenhagen.
We are on Facebook!
Selected articles from magazines and newspapers about Erik can
be read here:
Tattoo Extreme Januar 2008 (pdf)-
Taiwan (Chinese and English)
Frederiksborg Amts Avis 14.5.2007
#23 2007 (Dutch)
Dagblad 27.2.2006 (Danish)
Tätowier Magazine März 03/2006 (German)
No 48 Janvier/Février 2006 (French)
Jyllandsposten 9. oktober
Art Access - Seattle June
Jyllandsposten 19.juli 1999
Stud Vest -
Studenterblad i Bergen - 24 november 1999 (Norwegian)
Oslo, 16. july 1993 (Norwegian)
Magazine 1991 (English)