Leather Dads, Leather Lads at Tom’s House

Two recent book signings brought out both the leather royalty of L.A. and a fresh crop of new devotees.

To celebrate the recent release of TOM HOUSE: Tom of Finland in Los Angeles from Rizzoli, there were two book signing parties: the official party at the David Kordansky Gallery in L.A. and the continued fun at Tom of Finland Foundation in the city’s Echo Park district. Our favorite event photographer, Miguel Angel Reyes, was there to catch the historic convergence of legendary artists and leather men, as well as a new generation of leather enthusiasts.

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TOM House

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TOM House

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David Kordansky Gallery

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David Kordansky Gallery

The book is an immersive glimpse into the private, domestic world of one of the 20th-century’s most revolutionary artists. Nestled in a leafy, residential section of Los Angeles is the house where Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen, 1920–1991) lived and worked during the last decade of his life, it is an extraordinary place — part shrine, part haven, part art-historical archive, and part utopian collective. Still occupied by the men who resided there with Tom and dedicated themselves to preserving his legacy, the House serves as a living tribute to the artist’s astonishing oeuvre and his radical vision of unapologetic homoerotic sexuality.

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More about TOM HOUSE: Tom of Finland in Los Angeles

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A treasure and collector’s item for true admirers

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MARTIN OF HOLLAND: The Brown Book

Over the past 20 years, db/queerart has worked only as a nonprofit promotional tool for Queer artists, collectors and promoters/researchers. We’ve become respected and appreciated by some of the world’s greatest Homo artists, galleries ad organisations. Not in the least through the relentless input and uncompromising stand of our fellow founding member Martin van de Logt. 

That is why his close friends and admirers of his art, together with the custodians of his art legacy decided that we could best honour his memory by presenting a printed tribute anthology with over 140 of his greatest works together with written articles by fellow Queer art promoter and Tom of Finland Foundation president Durk Dehner in LA; fellow NYC, SF and Amsterdam artist REX; LA art historian and artist Richard Hawkins; and myself, Ad Schuring.

There is much to understand and much more yet unexplained within the ever expanding boundaries of possibilities all spurred onward by our desires, urges and cravings. The art of walking on the edge between safety and danger, between life and death as Lou Reed’s song “Walk on the Wild Side” with a watchful eye on new explanations as we chart our ways back to out most primal natures. -Durk Dehner

Not a cheaply mass-produces product, it is lovingly designed and printed with the utmost care.

Limited one-time edition of just 480. No reprints will ever be done.

Limited one-time edition of just 480. No reprints will ever be done. €45.00

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“Cock, Paper, Scissors” | 2nd April | LA

CaptureAt Plummer Park

 

An exhibition of 15 artists on queer collage drawn from the archives alongside work by contemporary artists. 

ANITA STECKEL, Anita of New York Meets Tom of Finland, 2004/2005, Mixed media on book pages, 19.6" x 13.5". Photo by Adam Reich. Courtesy Estate of Anita Steckel and the Suzanne Geiss Company, New York

ANITA STECKEL, Anita of New York Meets Tom of Finland, 2004/2005, Mixed media on book pages, 19.6″ x 13.5″. Photo by Adam Reich. Courtesy Estate of Anita Steckel and the Suzanne Geiss Company, New York

Cock, Paper, Scissors places special focus on the work of four rarely exhibited artists that produced collages for personal pleasure drawn from the collections at ONE Archives at the USC Libraries and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. From ONE, this includes the anonymous “Graphic Albums Collection,” which combines gay male pornography with pages from interior design and visual arts magazines, and the collages by erotic artist Olaf Odegaard. From the Leslie-Lohman Museum, this includes the anonymous “West End Collection,” a vast archive of Xeroxed collages of BDSM imagery, many including Nazi fetishism, and collages by psychic Ingo Swann, who developed a process known as “remote viewing” for the CIA during the 1970s. In addition, the exhibition includes collages by Steve Blevins as reproduced in gay porn magazines from the 1980s, often as illustrations for erotic fiction. Theses eclectic producers all utilize gay male pornography to innovative and wildly explicit ends.

While Cock, Paper, Scissors is undoubtedly a celebration of the numerous uses of gay male pornography, the inclusion of historical and contemporary feminist collage practices seeks to address gay male phallocentrism with feminist critique and lesbian power. The exhibition includes a site-specific installation by feminist pioneer Mary Beth Edelson, part of an ongoing series of collage projects initiated years after her renowned collage posters of the 1970s; a series of preparatory collages by Marlene McCarty produced for her large-scale drawings of young women who committed patricide; and a series of mixed-media collages by veteran feminist artist Anita Steckel that places the artist within drawings by Tom of Finland, exploring the possibility of alternate forms of cross-gender desire and visual pleasure.

Many of the artists in Cock, Paper, Scissors utilize collage for deconstruction or intervention within the circulation of images. Enrique Castrejon meticulously cuts-up and measures the figures from the gay porn magazine Black Inches. Jonathan Molina-Garcia combines images of his own body with those of older HIV+ men as part of a larger series on gay male intergenerational knowledge. Suzanne Wright merges the female body with monumental and utopian architecture. Glenn Ligon plays with the vernacular form of the photo-album, combining fetishistic photographs of Black men with family photographs. Jade Yumang screen-prints pages from vintage porn magazines onto fancifully decorative bundles of soft sculpture phalluses. In a newly commissioned work responding to the archive of West End, Kate Huh utilizes fragments from the collection to produce collages that are embroidered by LJ Roberts.

Opening reception: Saturday, 6-9p

Runs through 10th July

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