RICK CASTRO “Fetish King: Seminal Photographs 1986 – 2019” presented by Tom of Finland Foundation

RICK CASTRO (American, 1958-), Amputee Hustler (still from Hustler White), 1996, 20″x16″

The artist’s sex-positive imagery is darkly erotic, elegant, and at times sinister. A powerful figure that emerged in the Los Angeles underground during the late ’80s, Rick Castro was dubbed “the fetish king” by the press. He continues his pictorial career and fascination with lust, desire and kink, producing elegant portraiture of celebrated artists and the demi-monde. 

Durk Dehner, cofounder of Tom of Finland Foundation, was one of Rick Castro’s first collectors, and his first publisher. TOM House is where Castro hosts his weekly tea salon and monthly book club.

Born in Los Angeles in 1958, Castro began his early career working as a fashion stylist and costume designer. His clients over the years included Bette Milder, David Bowie, Herb Ritts, Joel-Peter Witkin and publications like Interview, GQ, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. He first became a free-lance photographer in 1988 with his work appearing in Drummer magazine and The Advocate.

His first solo exhibition was at Different Light Bookstore in Silver Lake, California, in 1988. Over the decades he has had numerous international exhibitions. Notable films include his short films of hustler interviews in 1994 that inspired Bruce LaBruce to make the film Hustler White (1996), of which Castro was co-director/writer. The film garnered great success internationally and is listed by the Los Angeles Times in the top 100 underground films of the twentieth century. Castro also directed a documentary for MTV called Plushies & Furries in 2001, a film which focused on the furry communities.

Over his 30 plus career, Castro has photographed producer Alan Poul, porn star Peter Berlin, author Gore Vidal, director Kenneth Anger, performance artist Ron Athey, and the 14th Dalai Lama. Castro has created editorial photos for Christian Dior Homme, Cartier jewelry and designer Rick Owens, realizing photographs that are notably more art than fashion.

Castro’s films are archived by UCLA Legacy Projects and his books and photographs are archived by the Alfred Kinsey Institute, and Tom of Finland Foundation. He continues his art practice and commissioned photo shoots.  [@eigilvesti]

Exhibition, 6th – 27th April, TOM House

By Marcel Schlutt

You’ll find TOM’s Men at LA Leather Pride 2019! | 23rd – 31st March

24th March | Parking lot party | Faultline

27th March | Casual get-together | TOM House



30th March | Contestant interviews | TOM House

30th March | Combined title contests | Pico Union Project

31st March | Beverage/Bites | TOM House

31st March | Artists at Leather street fair | Silver Lake

For the 20th anniversary celebration, Los Angeles Leather Pride will take you on a week-long experience celebrating the Leather/Kink community through XXploration!


“SOVO// Magazine” [ Issue 4 ] release event + exhibition | 23rd March | LA

1855 Industrial Street, No. 110 (located in Downtown LA’s Arts District)

An independent, quarterly art publication made in South Los Angeles. SOVO// [ Issue 4 ] titled “Sex” is now available for pre-order, and will also be available for pick up and purchase at its release event. 

SOVO// will share the results from their experience working with TOM House for the first time, alongside selected topics contingent with the exploratory, sex-positive ethos of Tom of Finland Foundation.


SOVO// is honored to present the results of their close encounter with the artistic dichotomy of  TOM House. Erotica does not always imply intimacy, but SOVO// was thrilled to have had such personable contact with owner and cofounder, Durk Dehner, his staff and his extended family of artists. The access granted to SOVO// photographer Viktoria Raykova to the Foundation’s extensive archive, informed her process in recreating a selection of iconic Tom of Finland illustrations on 120 film. This challenge has been approached by many, but few have captured the spirit, humor, and playful beauty we are proud to channel through curator Mark Ransdell-Bellenger, resident artist Jordan Michael Green and model Michael Issa.

Saturday, Noon – 9p
Beer, wine, water, and delightful conversation will be provided.
18+ Only | Free Entry with RSVP

Exhibiting the film images of contributing photographers Milana Burdette, Ashley Guo, Adam Patrick Daniel Hutsell, Niko Sonnberger and Viktoria ‘Buku’ Raykova. And of course, there are some surprises planned including the unveiling of a 9×12 ft. Damian Gomes painting and two video projections shot on Super 8 and 16mm.


This issue thoughtfully addresses topics in sexuality and gender identity and presents sex as yet another pathway to self awareness. We have come to understand that there is no stringent “correct” blueprint to navigate sexual experience or bodily relationships. We aren’t here to present ourselves as experts or know-it-alls, but to take you by the hand and introduce you to a variety of selected topics that interested us the most. [ Issue 4 ] touches on the non-binary post-gender era, asexuality, aphrodisiacs, celibacy, fetish psychology, sex work, sex magic, the adult toy industry, the Native American Two Spirit identity, trust in long-term BDSM relationships and includes an editorial feature on legendary sex-positive feminist Betty Dodson and Grammy-award winning fine art photographer Nedda Afsari.


Only 500 SOVO// collectors will have the chance to own this limited edition art publication. From 24th March, this issue will only be available for purchase online and at the TOM House gift shop for the retail cost of $150.