Get a Piece of Skin Off Bruce LaBruce

Bruce LaBruce and Tom of Finland Store form a happy (open) relationship

If you are not familiar with Bruce LaBruce’s work, he is sort of a bastard love child of Kenneth Anger and John Waters. Maybe a little scarier. His first claim to fame was the zine J.D.s in 1985. And that little chapbook essentially made the ’90s homocore scene possible. He also made a bunch of crazy-ass films meant to challenge everything you hold dear about God and country. What a relief to let go of all those old ideas.

Hustler Hiding (Madrid), 2009, Courtesy of the artist and ToFS

His fetishized views on sexuality and his tendency to include very hardcore sex scenes in his films and art work make his current offerings through the Tom of Finland Store a perfect match. Even 30-something years after the launch of J.D.s, Bruce LaBruce can still shock — in that way you like to be shocked.

Bruce LaBruce and Joakim Andreasson (ToFS creative director) have announced the online reiteration of Faggotry. Following retrospective gallery exhibitions and programs in London (Gallery 46), Madrid (La Fresh), Los Angeles (Lethal Amounts) and New York (MoMA), the online platform will be made up of over 100 photographs that LaBruce has produced over the past 25 years, and are now available as part of an exclusive offering via Tom of Finland Store.

The presentation includes photographs from film sets, candid shots of fellow artists, friends, and collaborators, photographs made for movie promotion and posters, excerpts of shoots for magazines, photography for gallery shows, and documentation of live performances.

Klaus von Brucker #2 (No Skin Off My Ass production still), 1990, Courtesy of the artist and ToFS

“To be honest, I just keep doing what I’ve always been doing. It’s the political spectrum that keeps shifting, although its goal posts always seem to shift more and more to the right side of the spectrum in terms of capitalism, corporatism, and neo-liberalism. My work has never been particularly accepted by the gay orthodoxy, and as assimilation advances, it’s even less popular!”
Bruce LaBruce on the Glory Hole blog

By Christopher Harrity

 

Tom of Finland

Touko Laaksonen aka ‘Tom of Finland’ is one of the most influential and celebrated figures of twentieth century gay culture. Over the course of four decades, he produced some 3,500 illustrations, mostly featuring men with exaggerated primary and secondary sex traits, wearing tight or partially removed clothing.

Now we are happy to introduce Joakim Andreasson, who has been spearheading licensing for Tom of Finland Foundation since 2014. You can read our exclusive interview with him about Tom of Finland Store, and you will find an exclusive interview with Terry Miller, the official TOM’s Man, too.

JA I first came up-close and personal with Tom’s work in Paris when I bought one of the Taschen book in the gay book store in Marais. I was thereafter captivated – And Tom has been part of my life since. I never imagined that I would end up working with Tom’s art in this capacity – But it certainly has been a sexy ride…

JA Tom of Finland is a very fine movie – I have seen it a few times and have been involved throughout the making if it. Each time I see it I get touched by the bigger picture of Tom’s influence. The positive message of what he accomplished is what keeps us going, and keeps us creative in coming up with new avenues to communicate his vast body of work.

Tom, with businessman and friend Durk Dehner, cofounded Tom of Finland Company, and in 1984 established Tom of Finland Foundation dedicated to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting homoerotic artwork.

TM I really am out there to represent the brand in a physical manifestation. I try to present myself as the confident and sexually domineering guy that Tom made come to life so vividly… and I love it! The reaction has been incredible and gratifying. It’s totally fucking cool for guys to point at me and say, “You’re Tom of Finland!”

TM Visiting the Foundation house and getting to run around it all day and just go where we wanted and explore was incredible. Being able to go to Tom’s room, sit at his desk, hands on the last drawing he was working on at the time. It was like the Holy of Holies for kinky gay men. I was in awe. I will never forget getting the chance to lay in his bed and just close my eyes and think, “What was he dreaming of…?”

READ THE COMPLETE INTERVIEWS AND ARTICLE WITH MORE PHOTOS BY JOSH PAUL THOMAS