GAYPIN’ GUYS ON ’90S TRENDS, QUEERLY COLLABORATING AND THEIR GAY LITTLE HEARTS

How did you get involved with TOM House? I personally am a huge fan and the historical landmark pin— what is that collaboration like? Will it be ongoing?

Our first collaboration was with Stuart Sandford, a resident artist of TOM House, and he introduced us to the crew there. The historical landmark pin is a memento of a piece of history. TOM House has created so many opportunities for gay artists and we think it’s really cool to be able to own a piece of that. We would love to keep those collabs going and find new ways to transform the TOM House legacy into pin form.

READ THE COMPLETE INTERVIEW BY JAMISON KARON

 

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Get a Piece of Skin Off Bruce LaBruce

Bruce LaBruce and Tom of Finland Store form a happy (open) relationship

If you are not familiar with Bruce LaBruce’s work, he is sort of a bastard love child of Kenneth Anger and John Waters. Maybe a little scarier. His first claim to fame was the zine J.D.s in 1985. And that little chapbook essentially made the ’90s homocore scene possible. He also made a bunch of crazy-ass films meant to challenge everything you hold dear about God and country. What a relief to let go of all those old ideas.

Hustler Hiding (Madrid), 2009, Courtesy of the artist and ToFS

His fetishized views on sexuality and his tendency to include very hardcore sex scenes in his films and art work make his current offerings through the Tom of Finland Store a perfect match. Even 30-something years after the launch of J.D.s, Bruce LaBruce can still shock — in that way you like to be shocked.

Bruce LaBruce and Joakim Andreasson (ToFS creative director) have announced the online reiteration of Faggotry. Following retrospective gallery exhibitions and programs in London (Gallery 46), Madrid (La Fresh), Los Angeles (Lethal Amounts) and New York (MoMA), the online platform will be made up of over 100 photographs that LaBruce has produced over the past 25 years, and are now available as part of an exclusive offering via Tom of Finland Store.

The presentation includes photographs from film sets, candid shots of fellow artists, friends, and collaborators, photographs made for movie promotion and posters, excerpts of shoots for magazines, photography for gallery shows, and documentation of live performances.

Klaus von Brucker #2 (No Skin Off My Ass production still), 1990, Courtesy of the artist and ToFS

“To be honest, I just keep doing what I’ve always been doing. It’s the political spectrum that keeps shifting, although its goal posts always seem to shift more and more to the right side of the spectrum in terms of capitalism, corporatism, and neo-liberalism. My work has never been particularly accepted by the gay orthodoxy, and as assimilation advances, it’s even less popular!”
Bruce LaBruce on the Glory Hole blog

By Christopher Harrity

 

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TOM’s Men, without shame

I never expected to see a movie about Tom and a great one at that. Tom would have liked it very much but I think but he would have said make more sex. Do not miss this classic film and see it in a theater if at all possible – made me cry, but in a good way, for all the good times with Tom and his men.

OK, here is my real feeling on seeing Tom of Finland. Spoiler alert if you have not seen.

At many times I felt it was Tom, not an actor. I cried during a lot of it. They caught the essence of Tom in the film from his Leather muse, to Durk Dehner, to his trips to America in 1978 and 1983, to his life partner Veli, and his sister Kaija.

I met Tom in 1978 at the opening of his exhibition at Fey Way Gallery and at the Eagle but I was the boy in the film with the Physique Pictorial under a blanket in his bed – me 1958 – after I bought my first Tom.

Tom was charming, laconic, intense in his gaze, as moved by us as we were by him and a very sexy man. In 1983 he came to a dying San Francisco because we needed him. He judged IML that year where my partner Colt Thomas was selected. He came to sell his sex positive book Tom of Finland Retrospective. I went to the Casto and stood in line and he signed my book “From Tom of Finland to Peter Fiske of San Francisco”. I even have a photograph to prove it.

From 1984 until his death in 1991, Tom would come to stay with Durk at TOM House and with my friend Felix Jones, we would head south to see Tom almost every year. We would see Tom and Durk and have lunch at the LAPD Academy which is open to the public. If you like cops go there, but I digress.

In 1987, after his husband Charlie Smith died, Coulter wrote Tom and asked him to make a picture of them and send a photograph. Tom said return the picture of you as a cowboy and I will make a new picture for you. Tom loved Coulter. Coulter loved the picture and he loved Tom. That picture now hangs in Tom’s room in TOM House. Go there if you are in LA – it is a place of pilgrimage if you are one of TOM’s Men.

TOM OF FINLAND (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Untitled (Coulter Thomas and Charlie Smith), 1987, Graphite on paper, Gift from Peter Fiske, Tom of Finland Foundation Permanent Collection, © 1987 Tom of Finland Foundation


Finally, let’s talk about TOM’s Men. They are incredibly sexual and they are happy, strong, healthy, good men. They love sex and they love each other. They live and love without shame. That is I think the greatness of Tom. His strong men live and love without shame, and they have joy and fun and sex.

Peter Fiske

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