The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Thursday, January 21, 2021

House of Illustration opens the UK's first public exhibition dedicated solely to gay cultural icon Tom of Finland
Durk Dehner at Tom of Finland opening © House of Illustration.

LONDON.- House of Illustration opened the UK’s first public solo show dedicated to gay cultural icon and prolific artist Tom of Finland (born Touko Laaksonen), in partnership with Tom of Finland Foundation and the Finnish Institute in London.

This timely exhibition, on the centenary of his birth, celebrates the artist whose homoerotic visions had a profound effect on gay communities in Europe and North America during a pivotal period in their history and continue to have an immeasurable influence on popular culture today.

Tom of Finland: Love and Liberation displays 40 works on paper produced from the 1960s to the 1980s, both before and after homosexuality was decriminalised in much of Europe and the U.S. It includes early drawings of men fighting that constituted the only legal way to show physical contact between men before decriminalisation, as well as illustrations from his iconic Kake comics and rare linocuts produced in very limited editions.

Many of these works, on loan from the Los Angeles-based Tom of Finland Foundation, are being exhibited to the public for the first time.

An art director at an advertising agency by day, Tom of Finland (1920-1991) began drawing his homoerotic fantasies by night, first distributing them in U.S. bodybuilding magazines and signing them with the pseudonym ‘Tom’ to avoid censure and arrest. The general public had only to look at a ‘sports’ or ‘health’ magazine to see Tom of Finland’s sensuous hyper-masculine figures, while an underground audience could access his overt erotica via a network of sex shops and leather bars.

Tom’s drawings didn’t just present homoerotic scenes – they fetishized the uniforms of the military and law-enforcement establishment, subverting the image of these homophobic institutions in a direct challenge to the emasculating stereotypes and prejudices of the time. His unabashed and unapologetic depictions of homosexuality shaped gay identity, inspired LGBTQI rights campaigners and invigorated popular culture, influencing the aesthetics of artists as diverse as Freddie Mercury, Robert Mapplethorpe and John Paul Gaultier.

House of Illustration curator Olivia Ahmad says: “Tom of Finland transformed his original perception of male sexuality and desire into a vital art that spoke to suppressed queer communities around the world and revolutionised the image of gay men in popular culture. Tom rejected the discrimination and conservative conventions of his time to celebrate love, intimacy and pleasure, and it’s no surprise that his message continues to resonate. We are extremely proud to present this overdue show of his work in the UK here at House of Illustration.”

Tom of Finland Foundation co-founder and president Durk Dehner says: “We are delighted to be showing Tom of Finland’s iconic and important work to the UK public, introducing audiences in London to Tom’s mastery of multiple mediums spanning his lengthy artistic career.”

Today's News

March 8, 2020

Kunstmuseum Basel exhibits works from the Im Obersteg Collection

TEFAF art fair carries on. But business isn't usual.

Exhibition of Kenneth Noland's Flare series on view at Pace Gallery

18th century Chinese gourd sells for $4.6 million at auction

The networks that ruled earth's ancient seas

Truck crashes into an Easter Island statue

The Armory Show announces move to the Javits Center and new September dates for 2021 edition

TEFAF releases 'Art Market Report: Art Patronage in the 21st Century'

Gagosian opens an exhibition of new paintings by Jennifer Guidi

Kasmin opens 'Valley of Gold: Southern California and the Phantasmagoric'

The Twist at Kistefos Museum and Sculpture Park in Norway wins LCD Berlin Award for Best Architecture

Sotheby's to offer Francis Bacon's 'Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus' this May in New York

House of Illustration opens the UK's first public exhibition dedicated solely to gay cultural icon Tom of Finland

SXSW festival in Texas cancelled over coronavirus fears

He played with Charlie Parker. For $15 he'll play with you.

Columbus Museum of Art opens 'Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989'

Throckmorton Fine Art opens an exhibition of photographic images by Don Farber

Revered jazz pianist McCoy Tyner dead at 81

First book devoted solely to the ethical concerns museums face regarding collections published

Petzel Gallery opens a solo exhibition of recent paintings by artist Rodney McMillian

The Beatles' first performance stage, Hey Jude lyrics and more head to Julien's Auctions

Poem 88 presents the second solo exhibition of Corrine Colarusso, Every Leaf a Shelter

Pangolin London opens an exhibition of works on paper and sculptures by Geoffrey Clarke

A deaf-blind dishwasher achieves his childhood dream: Movie actor

Almine Rech opens its first exhibition of Jansson Stegner with the gallery

How to get more views on YouTube?

How to Pick a Career You Will Never Abandon

Importance of Culture in Learning of Hard Languages

Health benefits of Medical Marijuana

How soon after an accident should you file an injury claim?

How to Make Him Hard and CRAVE You?

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit
online casino australia

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful