Rinaldo Hopf is a world renowned artist and long time friend of Tom of Finland Foundation. Before living at TOM House, his large format portrait of Tom was donated to the Foundation by a collector. Ever since it’s hung proudly in the stairwell— the first I ever knew of Hopf. He has done artist residencies all over the world, and continues to travel and make sexually liberated art. I met Rinaldo in 2017, when he came to live at TOM House as the Artist-in-Residence. He’s a charming fellow who is immensely talented with a diverse ouvre. Since 2005, Rinaldo has edited the queer anthology My Gay Eye, and has just come out with the latest issue, an homage to Tom of Finland! I had the chance to ask him some questions about TOM House, his art, and the new anthology.

RINALDO HOPF, Under the Joshua Tree

You met many artists in LA who are affiliated with the Foundation. Can you talk about how they inspired you to create the latest issue of My Gay Eye?

Well, together with the art collection at TOM House, it was you L.A. artists and writers whom I met at the House who made me want to do this book. I was roommates with the jolly and charming British artist Stuart Sandford with his sexy Latino boys. I would see his sculptures coming in boxes and then lying amidst socks and underwear on his bed. I had never seen 3D prints, but there they were, and he would explain the technical process to me. Stuart introduced me to you, and you gave me your book of short stories. I read them on the long bus trips to the beach and loved them! In one of them you described perfectly what it feels like to be a writer (or artist) in residence at TOM House. Of course you described YOUR experiences, but they were not so different from mine. That was actually one of the starting points for this book.

I didn’t know that! I’m flattered. Can you talk about the community at TOM House?

There is the everyday work of the residents and the many volunteers in the archives and the library. I really liked this aspect of life at the house, it’s a changing community of very special and lovely people. There’s Marty, a librarian about 60 years old, with her little dog Cleo, who would probably not be expected to be archiving gay pornography. Or her roommate Louie, who meticulously prepared the picture materials and did most of the graphic work for the present volume. There are the daily meals together in the house or garden; the guided tours of the house, where I met staff from Sotheby’s, New York; the weekly tea salon hosted by photographer Rick Castro; the many unusual and exciting visitors, and former artists-in-residence. Some days I was so busy working I forgot to leave the premises. There there were so many interesting people around anyway.





“My Gay Eye / Mein schwules Auge” US book launch | 24th June | TOM House

This event showcases the LGBTQ talent in a book presenting images and stories of the artist Tom of Finland and explores the Foundation he cofounded. Discover treasures from an extensive collection of Gay art, many shown in this volume for the first time. Contemporary authors and artists add to this unique homage to Tom with their essays, interviews, short stories, and artwork.

Featured Readers:

Durk Dehner
Cofounder and president of Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles. Durk has been at the helm of Tom of Finland endeavors since 1979, a video porn director, a guy who was a model for Bruce Weber, and tied for 1st place in the first IML. He was a model for Target Studios, in Drummer magazine, broke as many rules as he could get away with and put on the notorious underground parties in Los Angeles called Butt Boys.

Mark Timothy Hayward
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Art Institute of Chicago. Curator, author, illustrator and storyboard-board artist.

Jamison Karon
Los Angeles based writer and filmmaker. He received a BFA in Theatre from the University of Arizona in 2012. For three years following graduation, Jamison worked on original Queer content in New York City, propelling his sex-positive voice into the American zeitgeist. Jamison is the writer, director, and producer of the narrative web-series and short film Sorry You’re Sad, as well as the art film Last Night. In 2016, Jamison was inducted as the artist-in-residence at Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles, where he published a book of erotic non-fiction, How to Be a Faggot. Jamison is currently a screenwriting fellow at the American Film Institute.

David Parke Epstein
Participant in the Tom of Finland Art and Culture Festival. The former author and writer for the magazine Esquire lives with his cat Compton at the Sunset Junction in Los Angeles.

Marc Ransdell Bellenger
Curator and Community Development at Tom of Finland Foundation. Prior to his time at TOM House, he was curator for Walt Disney Imagineering at Walt Disney World and MGM Orlando Studios; Curator of Collections with The Art Museum at Florida International University; Collections Registrar for the Boca Raton Museum of Art; and Registrar for the Palm Beach Community College Museum of Art, The J. Patrick Lannan Gallery. He also has had an extensive career as a private art dealer and served on the American Craft Council as a special curator to the White House under the Clinton administration.

Steven Reigns
Los Angeles-based poet and educator who was appointed the first Poet Laureate of West Hollywood. He edited My Life is Poetry, showcasing his students’ work from the first-ever autobiographical poetry workshop for LGBT seniors. Reigns has lectured and taught writing workshops around the country to LGBT youth and people living with HIV. Currently he facilitates the monthly Lambda Lit Book Club and is at work on a new collection of poetry. Tom of Finland Art and Culture Festival poet.

S.R. Sharp
Sharp studied Fine Arts, Art History and Design at several Midwest schools and managed the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. He worked in design for film and television for 30 years and fell head-over-heels for Tom of Finland Foundation more than a decade ago. He has acted as the editor of its newsletter, The Dispatch, and is the Head Curator of its Permanent Collection. Says Sharp of art, “I’m impressed by integrity, wackiness, resplendent candor and all those things you want to revisit when you close your eyes at night before you fall asleep.”

Rinaldo Hopf
He studied painting, ethnology and religious studies and is based in Berlin as a painter, photographer, editor and curator. He was an Artist-in-Residence at TOM House in 2017 and has had many international exhibitions in museums and galleries. Two books of his on photography: Subversiv (2004) and Amore (2006), and the art book Trickster (2013) were published by Konkursbuch. He is co-editor of My Gay Eye.

As editor, Rinaldo will talk about the making of this special Tom of Finland Foundation edition.

MC: Jordan Michael Green




My Gay Eye is a 400-page anthology of 120 queer artists from around the world who were influenced by Tom of Finland. Since 1984, Tom of Finland Foundation has been the guardian of this treasure trove of art, which shows the enduring influence of the Finnish gay icon. As stated by Durk Dehner, the Foundation’s president, “Artists are the shamans of our community, they show us things we could not see ourselves.”

Tom of Finland isn’t just one of our favorite artists. He’s an inspiration. In honor of the 14th annual volume of the anthology My Gay Eye, we reached out to Durk Dehner, the cofounder and president of Tom of Finland Foundation to talk a little bit about 10 of our favorite pieces from the latest volume. And you’ll want to make sure to get your own copy of My Gay Eye, which features more than 120 different artists over its 400 pages, alongside text contributions from Michael Bullock, Kevin Clarke, Jamison Karon and Ralf König.


“My Gay Eye / Mein schwules Auge” Book Signing and Reading | 18th May | Berlin

Cover photo by Josh Paul Thomas of Terry Miller and Oly Innes

Editor Rinaldo Hopf presents the latest volume of the anthology with the Tom of Finland Foundation Special Edition.

This edition presents the many sides of the artist Tom of Finland and explores the Foundation he cofounded with Durk Dehner. Discover treasures from an extensive collection of gay art, many shown here for the first time. Contemporary authors and artists add to this unique homage to Tom with their essays, interviews, short stories and images.

Special Guest Steven Reigns from West Hollywood, and Berlin based authors Jim Baker, Kevin Clarke, and Jan Gympel will be reading from their texts.

Images from the book will be shown and the event will be in both German and English.

8:30 – 10:00p