Tom was born Touko Laaksonen in Kaarina, southwest Finland in 1920.
He signed his erotic work “Tom” and when his drawings were first published in 1957, the now world-famous “Tom of Finland” was born.
The name Touko Laaksonen was kept for family and colleagues; both friends and fans have always simply called him Tom.
Touko’s Name Day is
Finland is one of the countries in Europe which celebrates Name Days (called Nimipäivä in Finnish). The tradition of celebrating Name Days dedicates a name or names to every calendar day of the year. A person then celebrates a Name Day on the day in the calendar where his or her given name appears.
In Finland, Name Days can be celebrated in the same way as a Birthday, where the individual having the Name Day will receive greeting cards, flowers or gifts from friends and family. Everyone appreciates good wishes on their day.
SILVIA PRADA, BORN IN SPAIN, IS AN ARTIST WHO LIVES AND WORKS IN NEW YORK. HER WORK IS A MONOCHROMATIC AND GEOMETRIC DOCUMENTATION OF POP CULTURE, CAPTURING A FETISHISTIC REPRESENTATION OF SELECT DEFINING MOMENTS AND ICONOGRAPHY. PRADA STEPPED INTO THE ILLUSTRATION AND ART SCENE IN 2000 BY PRODUCING WORKS FOR THE NOW-FOLDED THE FACE MAGAZINE, AND HAS SINCE RECEIVED ASSIGNMENTS FROM MAGAZINE CLIENTS INCLUDING V MAGAZINE, DAZED & CONFUSED AND VMAN. HER WORKS, WHICH INCLUDE LARGE-SCALE ILLUSTRATION AS WELL AS POSTER INSTALLATIONS, HAVE BEEN EXHIBITED IN GALLERIES AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS WORLDWIDE SUCH AS COLETTE, MOCA SHANGHAI, ZONA MACO, MUSAC AND DEITCH PROJECTS.
In collaboration with Tom of Finland Foundation, Prada creates drawings in conversation with Tom’s personal collages and archives — opening the narrative to understand new nuances of sexuality through the perspective of a woman.
You can view the series of drawings by calling Tom of Finland Foundation at 213.250.1685 for an appointment.
“TOM” is the book that features these drawings. It includes writings of Michael Bullock (author of Roman Catholic Jacuzzi, associate editor of PIN-UP magazine, contributing editor of Apartamento magazine), Melissa Anderson (4 Columns, former senior film critic Village Voice) and Aimee Goguen (artist sexually sublimating in Los Angeles). Published by Capricious. 44 pages.
Each original drawing is signed, comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and is accompanied by a copy of the book. Both are also available online: