Tom of Finland Art and Culture Festival 2016

Tom of Finland Art and Culture Festival 2016

1st-2nd October | TOM House
Photos by Star Foreman for “LA Weekly”

This weekend, people from around the world gathered at TOM House in Echo Park for the Foundation’s 2016 Festival. This year’s festivities celebrated the “printed heritage” of the gay community, which, frankly, makes it sound less sexy than it was. Really, it was like a Tom of Finland drawing come to life.

 

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People from around the world

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Do you wanna hear a secret? at the Tom of Finland Foundation’s Art and Culture Festival 2016

This weekend, people from around the world gathered at the unassuming house at 1421 Laveta Terrace in Echo Park, where homoerotic artist Tom of Finland used to reside, for the Tom of Finland Foundation’s Art and Culture Festival 2016. This year’s festivities celebrated the “printed heritage” of the gay community, which, frankly, makes it sound less sexy than it was. Really, it was like a Tom of Finland drawing come to life.

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LA Weekly Blog about Erotic Art Fair Controversy

Despite Controversy, No Children Harmed at Tom of Finland’s West Hollywood Erotic Art Fair

The 16th Annual West Hollywood – Los Angeles Erotic Art Fair went off without a hitch this past weekend, and the kids, as far as we know, are perfectly alright.

Earlier in the year, members of the West Hollywood Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission refused to put their seal of approval on the event, saying that children could somehow be harmed.

The commission’s decision stunned the gay community in Los Angeles and caused an uproar.

West Hollywood City Council members eventually overrode the commission, allowing the erotic art fair, which is sponsored by the Tom of Finland Foundation, to take place at West Hollywood Park Auditorium.

West Hollywood Patch reporter James Mills notes that folks at the fair were still concerned about the controversy.

“The most alarming thing is none of the people on that commission are our enemies. They are one of us,” Dan Berkowitz, co-chair of the West Hollywood Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board and a former president of the Tom of Finland Foundation, told WeHo Patch. “When the LGBT community is attempting to censor its own … things are really in trouble.”

Commission members are appointed to their posts by West Hollywood City Council members John Heilman, Abbe Land, John Duran, Jeff Prang, and John D’Amico.

During the recent West Hollywood City Council race, longtime incumbents John Heilman and Abbe Land, who were running for re-election when the erotic art fair controversy broke out, were criticized for helping to de-gay West Hollywood.

The city’s poor handling of the erotic art fair was cited as an example by critics.

This weekend, Heilman and Land made personal appearances at the fair, which featured many drawings and paintings of naked men.

Original issues of old school gay magazines from the early 1960s such as Physique Pictorial were also for sale.

The crowd was made up of mostly gay men in their thirties, forties, and older, with volunteers always standing outside the doors leading into the fair.

The few children who live in West Hollywood — U.S. Census figures show the city is not, and has never been, a place filled with kids — were not allowed anywhere near the auditorium.

There have been no public reports of anyone being offended by the erotic art fair.

Mr. L.A. Leather 2011 Leo Iriarte, however, did make a triumphant appearance.

By Patrick Range McDonald, Mon., Mar. 28 2011

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