Dr Matt Lodder is a Senior Lecturer in Art History and Theory, and Director of American Studies at the University of Essex, and one of the University of Essex' Public Voice Scholars. He teaches European, American and Japanese art, architecture, visual culture and theory from the late 19th century to the present, including modern and contemporary art post-1945, digital and "new media" art, and the intersections between art & politics.
His research primarily concerns the application of art-historical methods to history of Western tattooing from the 17th century to the present day, with a principal focus on the professional era from the 1880s onwards. His expertise also extends to wider histories of body modification practices in the West, including tongue splitting, implants, and other procedures. He has also published work on feminist debates in pornography, and on the intersections of consent, culture and the law in the context of 1970s and '80s queer subcultures.
He has given invited lectures at venues including the V&A, the National Museum of Scotland, the Tokyo National Museum, and the Museum of London. He has published academic papers in venues including the Sculpture Journal, and contributed forewords for many popular books on tattooing. He has contributed articles to the Royal Academy Magazine, History Today, The Guardian and others, and appeared on broadcast media across the globe.
His first monograph, Painted People: Humanity in 21 Tattoos was published by HarperCollins in 2022. His latest major exhibition, 'British Tattoo Art Revealed', began at the National Maritime Museum Falmouth in March 2017 and toured nationwide through 2020. Matt also served as the presenter of the landmark television series "Art of Museums" / 'Magie des Grands Musées' / 'Magie der Museen', which aired across Europe and beyond in late 2018 and early 2019.