A TOM-themed Celebration of the Tom of Finland Movie
Come dressed as your favorite Tom of Finland character
The film has received acclaim in 30 countries
and now comes to Tom’s second home, Los Angeles!
Tom of Finland is the artist name of Finnish Touko Laaksonen (1920, Kaarina – 1991, Helsinki). He signed his erotic work “Tom” and when his drawings were first published in 1957, now world-famous “Tom of Finland” was born. “Touko Laaksonen” was kept for family and colleagues; both friends and fans have always simply called him “Tom”.
Tom shaped the fantasies of a generation of Gay men, influencing art and fashion before crossing over into the wider cultural consciousness. Dome Karukoski’s stirring biopic follows his life from the trenches of WWII and repressive Finnish society of the 1950s through his struggle to get his work published in California, where he and his art were finally embraced amid the sexual revolution of the 1970s.
Tom first visited the USA in 1978. With in that year, he had two solo exhibitions, one in Los Angeles and one in San Francisco. This trip to the States was worthwhile with his career taking a significant leap.
Tom needed someone to manage his business and Durk Dehner, who lived in Los Angeles and had hosted him on his first visit, turned out to be just this man: trustee, model, lover and business partner. Together they formed Tom of Finland Company, followed in 1984 by the nonprofit Tom of Finland Foundation in Echo Park.
Tom’s story is one of love, courage and perseverance, mirroring the Gay liberation movement for which his Leather-clad studs served as a defiant emblem.
Last year, Tom’s Los Angeles residence, the Tom of Finland House, TOM House, was honored with a Cultural-Historic Monument designation in Los Angeles. It was in his home, TOM House, that Tom got to be Tom 100% of the time and live the life he drew on paper.
The night is hosted by
Marc Bellenger and Pete Karjalainen of Tom of Finland Foundation
Jeff Wilcox, Eagle LA Mr. Leather, Mr. L.A. Leather 2017
Finland’s Official Selection for Best Foreign Language Film
consideration at the 90th Academy Awards.
Q&A Friday 7p: Actor Pekka Strang (Tom), and VP Tom of Finland Foundation S. R. Sharp
Q&A Saturday 7p: Dialogue writer Mark Alton Brown, and VP Tom of Finland Foundation S. R. Sharp