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Art Matters is the podcast that brings together pop culture and art history, hosted by Ferren Gipson.

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In this episode, we look at art that's skin-deep, displayed – not in galleries – but on the human body.

Where does the history of tattooing meet the history of art? How have tattooed people been represented in paintings – and in the media? Why have some tattooers resisted the label of 'artist'? How did the fashion for Japanese prints among the Impressionists impact the world of tattooing? And who are the Da Vincis of the tattoo world?

This episode's guest

Dr Matt Lodder is a lecturer in contemporary art and Director of American Studies at the University of Essex. His research primarily concerns the application of art-historical methods to the history of Western tattooing from the seventeenth century to the present day, with a focus on the professional era from the 1880s onwards.

He has given invited lectures at venues including the V&A, the National Museum of Scotland, and the Museum of London. He has published academic papers in publications including Sculpture Journal and contributed forewords for over a dozen 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.

Matt's first book, on the history of Western tattooing, is currently in production. His latest major exhibition, 'British Tattoo Art Revealed', is on at Torre Abbey until Sunday 3rd June 2018.

Find out more about Matt's work or find him on Twitter.

Explore more 

When East inspired West: the extraordinary influence of Japanese art

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Listen to our other Art Matters podcast episodes