Artist-in-residence Mies Mikkonen

Mies Mikkonen is part of Tom of Finland Foundation’s Artist-in-Residence program. In 2011, he made a documentary about Tom of Finland.

I’m interested in creating metaphysical works where the laws of the imagination triumph over the laws of reality. I believe that art is still something that we don’t understand at all and something that probably has been very ill-defined in the past, mostly by art critics and theoreticians, whose minds are in a prison of academic rigidity. Starting from film school I’ve made movies with both fiction and documentary approaches. I’ve also taught and lectured on film, and I’m a regular writer for the Finnish exploitation/arthouse film publication Elitisti.

I have been tackling two projects both in pre-production. The primary one is an unusual documentary film I am going to direct called DREAMS OF THE BLIND. The film, utilizing multiple visual styles and to be shot on several formats, seeks to convey the experience of blind people regaining their sight and seeing inside their dreams. The film will be a very visually oriented one, with voice-over monologues spoken, and the text being based on interviews I have conducted with blind people. The end result seeks not to be a conventional movie, but more like a cinematic equivalent of the Visionary Art movement. Principal photography on the project will start later this year.

The second one is still more in development, and it is a philosophical science fiction feature film that’s to be directed by my mentor, film-maker Maria Ruotsala. So basically my regiment has been to write these two screenplays while I’m here enjoying the California sun – and doing anything else creative that pops into mind, natürlich. TOM House is a Mecca for the connoisseur and all the folks here are terrific.


Mies with his Pixelvision in TOM House.

Currently, before leaving I am creating a short film shot on TOM House for the Foundation’s collection, using the PXL-2000 Pixelvision camera, a toy camcorder from the 1980s, which records B/W moving images into audio cassettes (!). This camera was a flop in its initial release, but has developed a cult reputation starting from the early 1990s with a wildly different demographic than the one it was intended for: experimental and underground film-makers. It seems a fitting instrument to create an homage to the place where I’ve dwelled the past couple o’ months. -MMM


Tom of Finland Documentary by Mies Mikkonen

Tom of Finland died in Helsinki in 1991 but was actually born in the region of Turku, Finland. Mies Mikkonen’s film documents the triumphant return of the permanent collection to Turku including some of Tom’s most iconic and rarely seen artwork.


“I gave him companionship and confidentiality.”

Tom of Finland
Finland-GB-USA 2011
Duration 10 minutes

Direction and screenplay Mies Mikkonen

TOM OF FINLAND, © 1957 Tom of Finland Foundation





Produced in partnership with Turku 2011 Foundation, Homotopia and Tom of Finland Foundation






We are proud of Mies and the work he has done.
Turku has produced a wealth of talent and is made remarkable by its people.

“TOM’s Coming Home!” – 1st – 30th of November – Turku

The new, 10 minute documentary by Mies Mikkonen of Tom of Finland can be seen non-stop at the Tom of Finland exhibition in Turku, Finland.

Tom of Finland
Finland-GB-USA 2011
Duration 10 minutes

Direction and screenplay Mies Mikkonen

Tue 01.11.2011, at 11:00 – Wed 30.11.2011, at 19:00
Entrance with visual art exhibition ticket 12/8 e.

Köydenpunojankatu 14
Turku 20100


Uusi dokumentti Tom of Finlandista 

Logomon Tom of Finland -näyttely täydentyy marraskuussa uudella dokumentilla. Mies Mikkonen on tehnyt lyhytelokuvan, joka esittelee näyttelyn rakentumisesta sekä Tom of Finland -nimen takaa löytyvää taiteilijaa ja ihmistä.

Homoeroottisen piirrostaiteen mestarista Tom of Finlandista on aiemmin tehty täysipitkä dokumenttielokuva, Ilppo Pohjolan Daddy and the muscle academy, jossa taiteilija itse kertoo elämästään ja ajatuksistaan. Mikkosen tuoreessa lyhytdokumentissa ääneen pääsee puolestaan Tom of Finlandin entinen malli Durk Dehner.

Dehner muistelee hänelle läheistä taiteilijaa ja Tomin maailmalle jättämää perintöä haastattelussa, joka kuvattiin Turussa alkuvuodesta 2011. Elokuvassa Dehner kertoo muun muassa Tom of Finlandin suhteesta Suomeen sekä arkipäiväisiä asioita Tomista ihmisenä.

Produced in partnership with Turku 2011 Foundation, Tom of Finland Foundation and Homotopia.