Tom of Finland conquers New York


The Pleasure of Play advertised prominently on Manhattan’s Greene Street. The Tom of Finland exhibition has received an enthusiastic response.

Tom of Finland valloittaa New Yorkia

Tom of Finlandin laaja homotaiteen kavalkadi New Yorkissa on hätkähdyttävä – taituruudessaan ja suoruudessaan. Näyttely saapuu ensi keväänä Helsingin taidehalliin.

On juhlavaa astella newyorkilaista Greene Streetiä. Lyhtypylväissä komeilee suuria mainoslakanoita suomalaisen Tom of Finlandin The Pleasure of Play -taidenäyttelystä kadun varren galleriassa. Alue on Manhattanin Sohoa, vapaamielisen kulttuuri-Amerikan sisintä.

The exhibition will arrive next spring to Kunsthalle Helsinki.



“Tom of Finland: Up Close and Personal” | 30th July | LA

INVITATION - Tom of Finland Up Close and Personal v2107_2.indd

Durk Dehner grew up in Alberta, Canada, and attended fine arts programs at The Allied Arts Center in Calgary, Alberta, the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and The Vancouver School of Fine Arts. Dehner cofounded Tom of Finland Foundation with Tom himself in 1984 to establish an archive for Tom’s life history and work. He modeled for photographers Bruce Weber and Ken Haak, and began working with Tom of Finland in 1978 as his public relations liaison. Dehner was instrumental in bringing Tom out of the underground and focusing public attention on his work.  He continues as head of the Foundation, headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

Dian Hanson began her publishing career as a magazine editor, helping found the 1970s hardcore journal Puritan, then moving on to Partner, OUI, Adult Cinema Review, Outlaw Biker and Big Butt, among others. She was most famously the editor of Juggs and Leg Show fetish magazines from 1987-2001. Since 2001 Hanson has held the position of Sexy Book Editor for art book publisher, TASCHEN, in which capacity she writes and edits all the sexually oriented titles for the company.

F. Valentine Hooven was born in Philadelphia and has spent much of his adult life in the theater, writing, designing, and acting regionally and in New York. Since leaving the theater in the mid-eighties, he has been a full-time freelance writer and illustrator, appearing in most of the popular gay publications of the 1980s and ’90s until focusing on Handjobs, which has published all of his erotic work since 1999. He is the author of the full-length biography, Tom of Finland – Life and Work of a Gay Hero, published by Bruno Gmünder Verlag, and an artist-member of Tom of Finland Foundation.

912 South Hill Street 90015



Life Drawing Workshop | 9th August | LA



MODELS: Steve and Marcus

Nude Figure Drawing and Painting

Each month the Foundation offers a friendly and positive environment to practice your skills.

Sunday, 1-4p

[Early arrival suggested due to parking availability]

Spinning the tunes: DJ RocketManLA, with over 100,000 songs!


$25 suggested donation at the door.
Scholarship funds available.

Coordinator: Miguel Angel Reyes
Reservations Required
[Kindly notify if you must cancel]

TOM House
Echo Park

Please sign up for ToFF’s eNews to receive reminders of future Workshops.


Review of the exhibition “Slash: Between Normative and Fantasy”

During the exhibition Slash: Between Normative and Fantasy, Irish voters voted for gay marriage legality and, after a month, the highest court in the United States legalized same-sex marriage in all states.

Kaspars Vanags’ exhibition invited a range of artists to participate from both Latvia and foreign countries. The first floor where a cube standing on stilts combines the work of Tom of Finland (real name Touko Laaksonen) with Latvian illustrator Edgars Ozolins whose drawings and sketches are known since Soviet times. Both artists’ works, to a certain extent, are in confrontation with each other, Ozoliņa sketches cover the cube wall on the outer edge, while Tom of Finland works are inside – they can only seen through a diagonal stripe window or by crawling under the lower part of the wall. Not only a kind of architectural game, but also a choice to connect these two artists is a quite original way considering in particular the historical contexts.


INGA MELDERE, Blaumana Room, 2015

Tom of Finland darbu vēsturiskais fons un konteksts ir cits nekā Ozoliņa ilustrācijās. Miesās uzpumpētie, ādās vai lateksā ietērptie milzu tēviņi ar uzbudinātiem locekļiem ir Touko darbu galvenā tēma. Fantāziju objekts, tāpat kā latviešu autora darbos, ir jebkurā gadījumā tāls un nepieejams, tomēr atšķirība ir tajā, kuru šīs fantāzijas uzrunā un uz ko tās vēlas iedarboties. Tātad auditorijā. Ja Touko darbi 70. gados bija zīmīga geju meinstrīma pornogrāfijas daļa, ar laiku kļūstot par šīs subkultūras neatņemamu klišeju, tad Ozoliņa ilustrācijas, īpaši Zentas Ērgles darbos, veidoja stereotipu kaudzi veselai paaudzei. Tie uzbūra ainas ar puiku un meiteņu pasaulēm un visu, kas no tā izriet – kā jāizskatās un kā jārīkojas. Šā brīža nacionāli konservatīvā spārna paaudze, kura Saeimā asi iestājas par ģimenes vērtībām un tikumības likumu, visticamāk, ir uzaugusi tieši ar šīm ilustrācijām.



“Tom of Finland: The Pleasure of Play”



TOM OF FINLAND (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Portrait of Pekka, 1975,
Gouache on paper, 10.69” x 18.81”, Tom of Finland Foundation Permanent Collection
© 1975 Tom of Finland Foundation

Touko Laaksonen, the artist known as Tom of Finland, helped shaped the sexual desires of generations of gay men. Who knew the erotic potential of muscles, mustaches, and tight leather outfits until Tom’s exquisitely finished drawings found their audience? His images lit up countless fantasies with their impossibly humpy, practically pneumatic men engaged in all sorts of exciting and—to judge by their happy grins—enjoyable activities, from the slightly lewd to the fully pornographic. Like another great gay artist, his younger contemporary, Andy Warhol, Tom came from a background in advertising and illustration. And also like Warhol, he eventually cut a wide swath through popular culture as this largest survey of his oeuvre to date attests.

Hugely popular and radically open in its treatment of sexuality, Tom’s classic work, some now more than half a century old, still looks contemporary, and this exhibition seems timely, if a little against the grain. In a domesticating moment of same-sex marriage, it feels more important than ever to remember the revelatory potential of gay sexuality when it was outlawed.

At Artists Space through 23rd August