Bill “The Hun” Schmeling | 30th April 1938 – 12th September 2019

Bill notes his art tattooed on a fan. ToFF Art Fair, 2002 Photo credit: Dietmar

The Hun was an anchor at Tom of Finland Art Fairs over the years. In 2002, he was inducted into the Tom of Finland Foundation’s Erotic Artist Hall of Fame, only the third person to be so designated at the time, the first being Foundation founder and namesake Tom of Finland, the other being Swiss artist H. R. Giger. “I’m sure Tom of Finland is turning in his grave, the Hun joked from the podium. “I received a note from him once, telling me to keep on keeping on. It was good advice, and I took it, just as I personally delight in coming here each year to feed off your energy.”

A volunteer journeyed from Virginia to model at the Fair and meet a master of homoerotic art, The Hun (r). ToFF Art Fair, 2002

 

 

I am grateful to the Tom of Finland Company for making this collection of my artwork available to a wider audience. I hope that you, the reader and patron, will find much here that will delight your eye, spark your own fantasies, and perhaps scratch a private itch or two as well! Very special thanks to Roland Bynum, my partner of seventeen years and counting, and to the late Miles Everitt of Los Angeles, for their kindness and patience in photographing my earlier work. Without the photos, slides and negatives they so lavishly provided me, many pages in this book would not have been possible!

I take this opportunity also to express my gratitude to many other homoerotic- leather-SM-fetish artists – particularly to the late Tom of Finland himself, to the late Dom Orejudos (“Etienne”), to the late Al Shapiro (“A. Jay”), to the late Domino, to the incomparable Rex, and to the indestructible Bill Ward. Though my work does not look like, nor in many ways measure up to, any of theirs, I am continually indebted for the inspiration, liberation and hundreds of man-hours of “free” art lessons that they and their works have afforded me over the years! In some sense, this book is an unwitting by-product of their genius. Many thanks!

Beyond those influences, which are considerable, I am “completely self-taught”, as artists never tire of saying. I have been drawing hunky dudes in varying stages of undress, duress and excess since I was five years old. We are talking long-term fixation here! I have studied the male anatomy at great length and at close range in a wide variety of dimly-lighted places over a long period of years and even now in my dotage still happily discover there is yet so much more to learn! Though my work admittedly lacks the subtlety, refinement and universal appeal of some “real” artists, I am delighted that it seems to put lead in the pencils of so many!  The Hun, 1995

“But the truly fortunate aspect of this work is that the Hun allows us to be pigs, to be as cruel as all hell, to endure excruciating pleasure, and to dish out or take the slimy, grunting, brutal, hairy, messy, expansive limits of taboo kink. And all this happens without committing unsafe acts or cruelty to animals – oh, I mean men. He is the ultimate safe sex provider. Thank you Hun!” -Durk Dehner, 1995

Tom of Finland Foundation is very fortunate to have many works by The Hun in our collections. We will always carry his wisdom and thoughtfulness in our memories.

American artist Bill Schmeling aka The Hun was a resident of Portland, Oregon where he passed surrounded by his family.

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