Life Drawing Session | 2nd June | TOM House


Uninstructed Nude Figure Drawing and Painting

Each month the Foundation offers a friendly
and positive environment to practice your skills.
Please bring your own materials.

Sunday, 1-4p

MODEL: Jarod

[Early arrival suggested due to parking availability]

Spinning the tunes: DJ RocketManLA, with over 100,000 songs!


Coordinator: Miguel Angel Reyes
Reservations Required
(Even when you buy your ticket online)

Kindly notify if you must cancel.

$30 suggested donation upon arrival.
$25 in advance.
Scholarship funds available.

Please use your phone outside the drawing area.
(No photography)

TOM House
Echo Park

Please sign up for ToFF’s eNews to receive reminders of future Sessions.


RUBÉN ESPARZA “Piss + Blood & Spunk: Seminal Works 1993-2019” | 8th June | TOM House

Digital Flux (Santana Camefeo) 25, 26, 27, 2015-2018, Archival pigment print, 16″ x 16″ each

Rubén Esparza combines the skills of a multi-media artist and the insight of a gifted curator to synergize intensely cross-referential artworks. Queer AIDS tropes, phallocentrism, and bodily fluids become markers of LGBTQ+ culture from the early ’90s to the contemporary Trumpian zeitgeist.

GLoves (Blood Drive), a 1995 triptych, epitomizes many themes of Esparza’s oeuvre. The artist, culturally imprinted by a Latinx heritage, moved to Los Angeles from Houston, after his lover died of AIDS. To memorialize the death and cope with grief, Esparza secured a phlebotomist and invited friends to donate blood that he then dripped onto brightly hued latex gloves. Uniting the conceptual with the visual makes for an arresting, colorful overlay to a disturbing piece of activist art, swirling sadness and AIDS anger together in the same mixed-media piece.

Digital Flux, series, 2015-18and the clever 2019 protest portrait of POTUS – Goon, Con, Troll – are harvested from a collection of objet trouvé internet images. Esparza downloads the pictures and manipulates them with dot matrixes and grids. Sometimes he paints semen and swashes of Warholian colors onto the faces of his subjects as an extension of his print photomontages. Hand-cut and pasted-up porn magazine pages graphically homoeroticize whimsical adorations of the penis. These analog collages form the underpinning to his digital pastiches that employ complex computer manipulations to create an inventive layering. Coded into these handmade amalgamations is a commentary heralded by a blast of hard-core queer smut from another time; together they retrieve a culture vanquished by the internet age. Esparza revivifies print porn as he creates outrageously sexual erotica that gives homage to a vanished genre of gay civilization.

This exhibition of 20 of Ruben Esparza’s most potent pieces includes a survey of the artists, art influencers and scenesters who frequent TOM House, and who Esparza has photographed in a collection of Polaroids. The most sensational shot being a self-portrait…floating in a mason jar of urine.

–Phil Tarley, curator

GLoves (Blood Drive), 1995, Mixed media, gloves, blood, mounted on acrylic, painted canvas with clear Lucite frame, 12″ x 12″ x 3″ each

Goon Con Troll (From x48 Trump series, 2016-2019, Mixed media, digital and analog artworks, Sizes variable

Rubén Esparza (b.1962) is a Los Angeles artist and curator. His work is part of the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. Esparza is the founder and director of the Queer Biennial, an exhibition anchored in Los Angeles that surveys international queer and Latinx art. Grants and awards, include: Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, National Endowment for the Arts, West Hollywood Arts, Tom of Finland Foundation, City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office.

Self Portrait Piss Jar, 2019, Polaroid, urine and jar

“Besides Esparza’s self-portrait jar of piss, the exhibit features erotic queer polaroids, homoeroticized whimsical adorations of the penis, collage artworks taken from fast-disappearing porn magazines, and more! ‘Piss + Blood & Spunk’ is a commentary heralded by hardcore queer obscenity from another time, brought back into this internet age.” – Jessica Romoff, Flaunt

Reception: Saturday, 7 to 10p
Opening night events include performances and happenings by: Oscar David Alvarez, FleshPiece, Ridge Gallagher, Jordan Michael Green, Jamison Karon, Marval A Rex, and Sheree Rose.


On view by appointment through 6th July.


“Piss + Blood & Spunk: Seminal Works 1993-2019” – Terremoto

“Rubén Esparza Piss + Blood & Spunk, Seminal Works 1993–2019 is on view by appointment at the Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles through Monday, July 6. The solo exhibition presents work made by the L.A.-based Esparza over the past 25 years.” – The Editors of ARTnews

Performance photos by Miguel Angeles Reyes

Chicano artist reproduces historic LGBTQ protest signs.

Rubén Esparza’s unique style fuses painting, drawing, and digital work with elements of Chicano and Queer culture. Through his art, and curating of exhibitions, he promotes a strong sense of activism. In his project entitled “From the Archives to the Archives” reproduces LGBTQ protest signs from the ’60s through the ’90s.

Esparza currently has an exhibition on display in Los Angeles at the Tom of Finland Foundation, a hub for LGBTQ artists from around the world.

By Anabel Munoz and Jose Mayorquin

Opening photos by Miguel Angeles Reyes


Fruitcake Pop-up | 1st June | LA


Presented by LOCKWOOD51


All day outdoor queer vendor market featuring fine art, clothing, crafts, jewelry, home goods, food & beverage, DJs and live performances!

Bar by Redline DTLA
Hosted by Meatball
Photo booth installation by artist Rakeem Cunningham
Haircuts by Eli Shaffer to benefit Trans life line
DJ’s: DJ Mateo Seganade, DJ Trail Error Official and DJ Shock Rocker 69
NEW FLAVORS Queer Performance hour hosted by Blasia Discoteca


Tom of Finland Foundation X Cali Thornhill DeWitt

11a – 7p
All ages: 11a – 3p
21+: 3p – 7p

$5 – $7 Suggested Donation
Proceeds go to Gender Justice LA