“My Gay Eye / Mein schwules Auge” US book launch | 24th June | TOM House

This event showcases the LGBTQ talent in a book presenting images and stories of the artist Tom of Finland and explores the Foundation he cofounded. Discover treasures from an extensive collection of Gay art, many shown in this volume for the first time. Contemporary authors and artists add to this unique homage to Tom with their essays, interviews, short stories, and artwork.

Featured Readers:

Durk Dehner
Cofounder and president of Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles. Durk has been at the helm of Tom of Finland endeavors since 1979, a video porn director, a guy who was a model for Bruce Weber, and tied for 1st place in the first IML. He was a model for Target Studios, in Drummer magazine, broke as many rules as he could get away with and put on the notorious underground parties in Los Angeles called Butt Boys.

Mark Timothy Hayward
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Art Institute of Chicago. Curator, author, illustrator and storyboard-board artist.

Jamison Karon
Los Angeles based writer and filmmaker. He received a BFA in Theatre from the University of Arizona in 2012. For three years following graduation, Jamison worked on original Queer content in New York City, propelling his sex-positive voice into the American zeitgeist. Jamison is the writer, director, and producer of the narrative web-series and short film Sorry You’re Sad, as well as the art film Last Night. In 2016, Jamison was inducted as the artist-in-residence at Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles, where he published a book of erotic non-fiction, How to Be a Faggot. Jamison is currently a screenwriting fellow at the American Film Institute.

David Parke Epstein
Participant in the Tom of Finland Art and Culture Festival. The former author and writer for the magazine Esquire lives with his cat Compton at the Sunset Junction in Los Angeles.

Marc Ransdell Bellenger
Curator and Community Development at Tom of Finland Foundation. Prior to his time at TOM House, he was curator for Walt Disney Imagineering at Walt Disney World and MGM Orlando Studios; Curator of Collections with The Art Museum at Florida International University; Collections Registrar for the Boca Raton Museum of Art; and Registrar for the Palm Beach Community College Museum of Art, The J. Patrick Lannan Gallery. He also has had an extensive career as a private art dealer and served on the American Craft Council as a special curator to the White House under the Clinton administration.

Steven Reigns
Los Angeles-based poet and educator who was appointed the first Poet Laureate of West Hollywood. He edited My Life is Poetry, showcasing his students’ work from the first-ever autobiographical poetry workshop for LGBT seniors. Reigns has lectured and taught writing workshops around the country to LGBT youth and people living with HIV. Currently he facilitates the monthly Lambda Lit Book Club and is at work on a new collection of poetry. Tom of Finland Art and Culture Festival poet.

S.R. Sharp
Sharp studied Fine Arts, Art History and Design at several Midwest schools and managed the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. He worked in design for film and television for 30 years and fell head-over-heels for Tom of Finland Foundation more than a decade ago. He has acted as the editor of its newsletter, The Dispatch, and is the Head Curator of its Permanent Collection. Says Sharp of art, “I’m impressed by integrity, wackiness, resplendent candor and all those things you want to revisit when you close your eyes at night before you fall asleep.”

Rinaldo Hopf
He studied painting, ethnology and religious studies and is based in Berlin as a painter, photographer, editor and curator. He was an Artist-in-Residence at TOM House in 2017 and has had many international exhibitions in museums and galleries. Two books of his on photography: Subversiv (2004) and Amore (2006), and the art book Trickster (2013) were published by Konkursbuch. He is co-editor of My Gay Eye.

As editor, Rinaldo will talk about the making of this special Tom of Finland Foundation edition.

MC: Jordan Michael Green

2-5p

FACEBOOK EVENT

EVENTBRITE



My Gay Eye is a 400-page anthology of 120 queer artists from around the world who were influenced by Tom of Finland. Since 1984, Tom of Finland Foundation has been the guardian of this treasure trove of art, which shows the enduring influence of the Finnish gay icon. As stated by Durk Dehner, the Foundation’s president, “Artists are the shamans of our community, they show us things we could not see ourselves.”


Tom of Finland isn’t just one of our favorite artists. He’s an inspiration. In honor of the 14th annual volume of the anthology My Gay Eye, we reached out to Durk Dehner, the cofounder and president of Tom of Finland Foundation to talk a little bit about 10 of our favorite pieces from the latest volume. And you’ll want to make sure to get your own copy of My Gay Eye, which features more than 120 different artists over its 400 pages, alongside text contributions from Michael Bullock, Kevin Clarke, Jamison Karon and Ralf König.

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“What if Utopia” | 1st – 24th June | LA

Featured work includes installation, film, live performance, and historical documentation. Artists included do not shy away from sexuality, identity, the body, and all around queerness. As independent curators/artists, we champion and challenge artists of all disciplines to temporarily step away from the white-box systems and explore new spaces in an unfiltered and organic fashion. Every exhibition or event is carefully researched and realized with an invited list of artists and curators from around the globe.

This third installment of the Queer Biennial – titled “What if Utopia” – asks the invited artists/writers/performers to explore their own sensibilities of an ideal, other worldly-landscape and examine ideas of a Queer Utopia. This theme is proposed in broad terms, leaving participants to explore it in the abstract: the carnal, the cerebral, the fantastical, the optical.

 

1st  June

Pre-reception cocktail hour with John Waters (ticketed)

Opening Reception, hosted by John Waters (free)

2nd June 

Q Focus: Books & Zines

Art and Performance

Babytalk: LA | A Pop-Up Store by Talk Hole

8th June

Juanita More’s Naked Dinner Party

9th June

Art & Film at TOM House

14th June

Justin Sayre: The Boy with the Gun to His Head

15th June

New Works: Jerome AB & Spenser Theberge

16th June

Queer Biennial Exhibition Closing Night

24th June

Literary Arts | “My Gay Eye” Book Launch


100 Images Explore a Queer Utopia at the Queer Biennial 2018
in the Advocate By Christopher Harrity

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Michael Kirwan – A Celebration of a Life Well-Illustrated | 30th June | TOM House

Come Together and Share Stories, Food and Drink in the Gardens of TOM House

Spend a Beautiful Saturday Afternoon
Arrive at 1:00p
1:00 – 2:00p Socialize
2:00 – 3:00p Telling Stories About Michael
3:00 – 3:30p Together We’ll Plant a Tree
3:30p Sharing of Some Food & Drink

Please bring a light entrée, dessert, salad – something to share.
The Foundation will supply beverages.

Also consider bringing some of your personal photos or print outs of Michael’s work.

Please RSVP by email and let us know what you’re bringing.

FACEBOOK EVENT

READ WHAT QUEER ART MEANT TO MICHAEL

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An astute observer and recorder of life – Michael Kirwan (27th December 1953 – 26th May 2018)

Michael Kirwan at Tom of Finland Art Fair, 2012

With a sad heart, we are letting you know that artist Michael Kirwan passed away peacefully on the morning of Saturday, 26th May 2018, in Los Angeles, California.

Hoist a glass and make a toast in celebration of the life of a great and unique man as well as an amazing artist.

Michael was born 27th December 1953. He lived a life filled with joys, passions, family, friends, and art. Michael resided in New York, New York; Miami, Florida; and most recently, Los Angeles, California. Creating his art was his most passionate activity, but he also enjoyed socializing, cooking, intimate encounters, movies, sharing his opinions, and being an astute observer and recorder of life.

While Michael’s artistic talents surfaced early, life had a way of forcing real-world responsibilities on a young Michael. Yes, he was married early in his life and was pleased to have fathered a son, Larry Kirwan. As Michael was reaching his late twenties, his marriage ended and he began a new, queer life that brought comfort within himself and adventures that would make for raucous stories for decades to come.

Michael always had a gift for telling and writing stories, but it was his illustrations and drawings that would give his friends and fans the clearest window into Michael’s thoughts and his heart. His first published work of art appeared in PlayGuy magazine in 1980, and getting paid to create art was Michael’s sweetest dream come true. Through the late 1980s until the mid 2000s, Michael’s highly detailed and evocative art was published in more than 600 magazines. There were periods of the 1990s when Michael’s art appeared in as many as six different magazines per month. The art was gay, straight, fetish, hardcore, and promotional to illustrate fiction, comics, and real life. Michael was incredibly prolific and his talent grew and became more and more popular with fans, readers, and art collectors.

Michael’s works of art have appeared in galleries and exhibitions around the world. After moving to California, he spent a year as the Artist in Residence with the Tom of Finland Foundation. Michael enjoyed an inspirational relationship with the work and history of  Tom and a very supportive relationship with the people of his Foundation who are dedicated to the education and preservation of erotic art for all artists. These years would provide Michael with the most important friendships and partnerships, and during this time, Michael created the best work of his life. Through that association, Michael appeared at internationally attended events and exhibitions that brought new admirers to his work and his Grand Persona as an artist. He was inducted into the Foundation’s Artist Hall of Fame in 2004.

Collectors with great taste and savvy expertise from across the globe have purchased Michael’s original works. After the adult magazine publishers faltered against the internet, Michael drew for his pleasure, to pay rent, and for fans commissioning unique and always interesting erotic scenes via his website KirwanArts.com. Michael always felt he was visually documenting every variety and scenario in gay and straight sexual activities. His inspirations for drawing his characters came from the everyday, regular people he would encounter on the streets, on the bus, throughout parks and markets, in seedy bars, and in dark alleys where names were not exchanged but furtive fun was found. Michael’s drawings exposed the fevered excitement and erotic beauty in every body and face. Michael always said he did not draw “pretty” guys because he knew regular guys had better sex.

Selections of Michael’s works have appeared in numerous books, but a highlight for him came in 2011 as a broad retrospective of his paintings was published in a monograph book titled Just So Horny. The obvious theme tying the works together was Michael’s obsessive attention to details, patterns, and backgrounds. The characters he drew were front and center, but Michael gave them life in a rich and colorful environment he painted on paper as he created the elaborate backstories in his head. Much of Michael’s work was created with fine-point watercolor brushes, making thin lines and blending an abundance of colors and layers, to make fantasies filled with his humor and wry sense of style leaping from the page. Michael rarely drew in front of anyone because he preferred solitude as he worked hunched over an art pad straining and crossing his eyes as he would create minute details and repeating patterns as fabrics and tile works setting a stage for his horny creations.

Michael wanted everyone to buy erotic art (most especially his, of course) and hang it where it should be seen by all. His artwork was part of a recent museum show, TOM House: The Work and Life of Tom of Finland in Detroit.

In addition to his son, Michael is survived by his aunt, Joan Morey and her children Mark Morey and Christina Strain.

There will be A Celebration of the Life of Michael Kirwan
on Saturday, 30th June at TOM House.


READ “Erotic artist Michael Kirwan dies at 64” by Phillip Zonkel for Q Voice News

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