“Tom of Finland: Up Close and Personal” | 30th July | LA

INVITATION - Tom of Finland Up Close and Personal v2107_2.indd

Durk Dehner grew up in Alberta, Canada, and attended fine arts programs at The Allied Arts Center in Calgary, Alberta, the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and The Vancouver School of Fine Arts. Dehner cofounded Tom of Finland Foundation with Tom himself in 1984 to establish an archive for Tom’s life history and work. He modeled for photographers Bruce Weber and Ken Haak, and began working with Tom of Finland in 1978 as his public relations liaison. Dehner was instrumental in bringing Tom out of the underground and focusing public attention on his work.  He continues as head of the Foundation, headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

Dian Hanson began her publishing career as a magazine editor, helping found the 1970s hardcore journal Puritan, then moving on to Partner, OUI, Adult Cinema Review, Outlaw Biker and Big Butt, among others. She was most famously the editor of Juggs and Leg Show fetish magazines from 1987-2001. Since 2001 Hanson has held the position of Sexy Book Editor for art book publisher, TASCHEN, in which capacity she writes and edits all the sexually oriented titles for the company.

F. Valentine Hooven was born in Philadelphia and has spent much of his adult life in the theater, writing, designing, and acting regionally and in New York. Since leaving the theater in the mid-eighties, he has been a full-time freelance writer and illustrator, appearing in most of the popular gay publications of the 1980s and ’90s until focusing on Handjobs, which has published all of his erotic work since 1999. He is the author of the full-length biography, Tom of Finland – Life and Work of a Gay Hero, published by Bruno Gmünder Verlag, and an artist-member of Tom of Finland Foundation.

912 South Hill Street 90015


The Photography of Punk | Through 15th November | London


The exhibition features Malcolm McLaren, Vivienne Westwood, Steve Jones, Paul Cook, The Clash, Poly Styrene, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jim French, Tom of Finland, Jamie Reid, Pennie Smith, Judy Linn, Bob Gruen, Dennis Morris, Jonh Ingham, Jon Savage, Ku Khanh, Ray Stevenson, Kevin Cummins, Sheila Rock, Steve Johnston, Steve Emberton, Kate Simon. Nick Knight was the creative consultant for the Metroplitan Museum’s exhibition Punk: Chaos to Couture and has programmed a series of accompanying projects on SHOWstudio.com and in SHOWstudio Shop.



Both Todd Oldham and Holly Johnson cite Vivienne Westwood’s “cowboy” T-shirt, popularized by the Sex Pistols, as their introduction to Tom’s art. Ironically, the image appropriated by Westwood and partner Malcolm McLaren for the infamous shirt was not by Tom, but by Los Angeles artist and Colt Studio’s founder Jim French.


JIM FRENCH | T-shirt, 1969                           TOM OF FINLAND, 1964

French, never hearing of the shirt, had this to say:

This image was part of a series of a series of six drawings I did with the title ‘Longhorns’. The series was released in 1969, just two years after Colt Studios was created. It was the drawing that first established Colt.

Frontal nudity was not yet legal in 1969, let alone physical contact between men, so I had to be very clever. I remember for this image that I made the space between the two penises as thin as a hair, one of the subtleties lost when cheaply printed, Vivienne Westwood or no.

I trust this will end this tempest in a teapot and put to record straight on the ‘Tom of Finland’ T-shirt. Believe it or not, while he was a great artist, Tom was not the only person drawing noteworthy male nudes in the 1960s and ’70s. There were nowhere as many of my drawings as there were of Tom’s, and mine were in a more realistic vein while his were fantasy, but in the end it is just apples and oranges.

From TASCHEN’s Tom of Finland XXL