Marcel Alcalá, Heather Benjamin, Butch Dick, Emma Kohlmann, Mike Kuchar, Brendan Lynch, Ryan McGinley, Alexis Ross, Jess Scott, No Sesso, and John Waters
Liz Lee and Cali Thornhill DeWitt
On November 7, 1991, Tom of Finland left us for the great orgy in the sky. He requested that there be no funeral upon his death, but rather a celebration. For 28 years now there has been an annual Bacchanalian affair, counter to mourning: TOM’s Bar. This year, “DaddyWood”. An interplay on the mythic paradise of “Hollywood”, the bounty of daddy’s sure to attend, and hard cock. What better way to celebrate Tom’s legacy, and his Foundation’s work as an erotic art foundation that carves space for perverts and queers alike, than to include an art show this year, and inside of a gym, no less?
Tom’s work has often dealt in the homosocial, and what better site for the intermingling of the hyper masculine and homosocial, than a gym. Thematically Tom’s work dealt in both. Gyms were are also fervent breeding grounds for the un-breeders to indulge in the ecstasy of cruising—steam rooms, and locker rooms (often represented in Tom’s work) provided a thick, cloaking blanket of anonymity and induced sweating which created a sensuous sheen illuminating the bulging muscles of pleasure seekers.
All of the work included in this show, Hard Sweat, is more or less figurative and either overtly includes or connotes the presence of genitals, and/or arousal in any form. Any work representing or causing arousal was our focus. As Tom famously said, “If I don’t have an erection while I’m doing a drawing, I know it’s no good.”