Hudson on TOM

Political correctness is a bad thing. It’s shortsighted and encourages repression and polar reaction, rather like Shakespeare’s lady: she doth protest too much. For me, art is about the mind, and the mind is an arena in which anything goes. One learns there to distinguish between the personal and the public. Morals develop as one moves through all the possibilities. Discernment is a must.

TOM OF FINLAND (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Untitled (Preparatory drawing), 1988, Graphite on paper, 11.75” x 8.75”, ToFF #1062, © 1988 Tom of Finland Foundation

TOM OF FINLAND (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Untitled (Preparatory drawing), 1988, Graphite on paper, 11.75” x 8.75”, ToFF #1062, © 1988 Tom of Finland Foundation

I am proud of having presented late-’80s and early ’90s exhibitions of rather extreme sexual work, and especially the numerous exhibitions of the drawings of Tom of Finland. He remains a master draftsman and a major influence on so many minds and bodies and artists. Inserting his work into the discussion put the hidden agenda of the repressive politically correct, which then glutted the galleries, on the table. It’s sad that Tom of Finland drawings should remain outside of art. Even to this day the dominant art worlds, especially the American versions, remain so afraid of the representation of sexuality.

During one Tom of Finland exhibition, when Feature Inc. was on Broome Street, a busload of people visited the gallery next door and a few wandered into Feature. A woman, say in her sixties, came in, carefully looked around, left, and soon returned with a male/female couple of a similar age. They were in the gallery for quite some time. On their way out, as they passed by the office, they were quietly speaking among themselves, and the woman from the couple mentioned that she thought she had just seen pornography, and the other woman replied, “Yes, but did you see the way they were drawn?” Overhearing that left me floating.

1601344_675963925776140_634015327_n

Hudson (1950-2014)

– From an interview with Hudson of Feature Inc.
by Dike Blair

Share

Leave a Reply