Meet the Artist: Mike Ledger
Wednesday Jul 11 10:15 AM
Honolulu Museum of Art
Meet artist Mike Ledger, whose work with ink and skin is in the exhibition Tattoo Honolulu.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Mike Ledger was introduced to the culture of tattooing by his grandfather, who was "fully tattooed by Coney Island Blackie." Growing up around the New York hardcore scene, Ledger would watch his friends in bands getting tattooed by the likes of Mikey in Brooklyn. He got his first tattoo at the age of 13, and "things just started happening from there."
He started his apprenticeship in 1989 at Peter Tattoo in New York. By the early 90s he was traveling to Denmark and Paris, working closely with Tin-Tin and getting tattooed by Filip Leu in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1995, he joined New York Adorned in Manhattan's East Village, and had the opportunity to work with artists such as Scott Harrison and Chris Garver. In 1997, Ledger moved to Germany and when tattooing was legalized in New York, he returned to the city. At the same time he was invited to Japan’s first tattoo convention and returned frequently to do guest spots at Chopstick Tattoo in Osak—stopping often in Hawai‘i to visit friends. In 2000, he moved permanently to Hawai‘i, where he opened New Tribal Tattoo in Waikiki with Pooino. Then in 2002 he opened Mike Ledger Inc.
Ledger also paints and works on designs for Element Skateboards. "I am very proud to be a part of this tattoo movement in Hawai‘i," says Ledger, "but I feel like I am just picking up where the greats—Sailor Jerry, Ed Hardy and the late Mike Malone—left off."