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ART & ARTISTS
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Hooven is the author of the new, full-length biography, Tom of Finland – Life and Work of a Gay Hero, published by the Gay-owned Bruno Gmünder Verlag, and an artist-member of Tom of Finland Foundation.
Now a soft-cover, 256-page anthology which covers TOM’s life. With countless drawings and many photos, it paints a detailed portrait that is as complex and life-affirming as the artist himself.
On display are the artist’s exquisite and masterful works
in several of his favorite mediums.
May 25, 1943, 1400 hours — born at the height of WW II, Valentine was raised everywhere from Great Falls, Montana, to Berlin, Germany, attended the Philadelphia College of Art on scholarship for one and two-thirds years before having a nervous breakdown and going into the Merchant Marines as a deck hand on Mobil Oil supertankers. Back ashore, he became involved in live theater, first as a stage hand, later holding just about every position a theater offered, beginning in Philly, then Frisco, then to Hollywood to become a stunt man before his creative illustrations finally began to sell to the Gay magazines, appearing in most of the popular publications of the 1980s and ’90s until focusing on Handjobs, which has published all of his erotic work since 1999.
Being a versatile and creative Gemini, Valentine always tended to work in a variety of mediums, the most notable of which is pyrography (wood burning), a medium popular only with two million Boy Scouts and the artist. Of late, he has taken up oil painting again for the first time since art school and Valentine says he is surprised to find himself experiencing a sudden (at the age of 69) rejuvenation in his art, especially in the large-scale canvases that inspire him more than anything else ever has.