Florian Hetz – “ECHO PARK” | 25th February | TOM House

Shot During the Artist’s Residency at Tom of Finland Foundation

my starting point for this work was a quote
by tom of finland from his first fine art book in 1988:

At the time when I became aware of my sexual direction, before World War II, all Gay activity was forbidden by law in most countries. The Gay men that I met felt ashamed and guilty, like belonging to lower human category because they had no right to enjoy their different sexuality. In my opinion it was very unfair, but even though I had to hide my own desires – or maybe because of it – I started drawing fantasies of free and happy Gay men.

in 2018, when a majority of americans still say
they feel uncomfortable with LGBTQ people,
and the rate of hate crimes against the queer community
is increasing globally,
i felt the strong need to portray gay sexuality and life in
its diversity in the USA.

tom house in echo park, where i have been staying for
three months, is the perfect backdrop for it.
tom of finland (born tokou laaksonen) lived here during the
last decade of his life and established
tom of finland foundation with durk dehner in 1984.
over the years the house and the foundation have been
the home to numerous gay artists and the
playground, shelter and safe space for many queer people.
it functions as a home, a sanctuary and a museum at the
same time.

i had the privilege to live here from
1st december to 28th february 2018.

this work is a little hommage to the utopia
of sexual freedom that tom created for all gay men.

join me at 3p for a small presentation of the work i did during my artist residency.

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