OF FINLAND FOUNDATION
OF FINLAND RETROSPECTIVE
TOM’S COMING HOME!
(Finnish, 1920 – 1991)
Untitled (Preliminary study),
Graphite on paper,
8.25” x 5.81”
ToFF Permanent Collection #0083
© 2011 Tom of Finland Foundation
LOGOMO, KÖYDENPUNOJANKATU 14,
TURKU / FINLAND
January 14, 2011 – December 18, 2011
Iconic artist, Tom of Finland, is coming home to Turku, Finland
as part of the 2011 European Capital of Culture celebrations.
The show is being presented by: The nonprofit Educational Archive,
Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF), Los Angeles, USA; Queer arts
festival Homotopia, Liverpool, England; and the Turku 2011 Foundation.
The Tom of Finland Retrospective was a key highlight
of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture in 2008 and attracted
This exhibition is a major retrospective of works on paper by
the legendary Gay artist. Seventy rare drawings and paintings
from 1928 through 1990 will be on display from the ToFF’s Permanent
Tom of Finland was born Touko Laaksonen in 1920 in the village
of Kaarina, Finland. At the age of nineteen, he moved to Helsinki
to attend art school and — for his own personal enjoyment
— created his first homoerotic drawings.
Following his release from the army after World War II, Touko
began to work in advertising. He continued to draw his fantasies
and, urged by close friends, submitted them to the American magazine
Physique Pictorial. Because of the conservative social
climate in 1957, he — with the publisher’s help —
chose to be published under the pseudonym, "Tom of Finland”.
First seen in commercial settings such as magazine illustration,
posters and advertising, his work had a defining impact on the
way Gay men were perceived and more importantly, how they perceived
themselves. Tom had a profound influence on Gay culture because
he was the first to connect words everyone assumed were oxymorons:
“Masculinity” and “homosexuality”.
In a world that insisted Gay men were sissies, Tom did the unthinkable,
portraying them as confident, macho and assertive. Tom’s oeuvre
has, therefore, had a ripple effect throughout Gay and straight
culture during the last 40 years, influencing lifestyle, political
tolerance, design, fashion and art to popular culture.
Durk Dehner, president and cofounder of ToFF, has said:
Tom’s artwork provided generation after generation healthy
and happy imagery with which they could identify — something
that western culture had been unwilling to supply and, in fact,
did its utmost to curtail.
The world abounds with a love for this hero and his art,
stretching across all boundaries. His return to Turku offers
a new opportunity to experience his genius, to be enthralled
in his mastery, and to absorb the Beauty in his depictions of
the male species.
The original purpose of ToFF was to preserve Tom of Finland’s
work for future generations; within a few years the mission was
broadened to include all erotic art. The Foundation is headquartered
at TOM House in Los Angeles. It is a museum with exhibition space
and Tom’s studio, an archive and a library, all which comprise
the world’s largest repository of erotic art.
For accredited members of the press there is a Tom of Finland
exhibition party at Logomo
on Friday, January 14, 2011, 6 PM to 9 PM.
Exhibition creators and invited guests will be present at the
We invite those with a website presence to link to our public
information page for this exhibition here.
further information, email: Administration@TomOfFinlandFoundation.org
January 10, 2011
O M O F F
I N L A N D F O
U N D A T I O N
A Quarter Century Dedicated to Protecting,
Preserving and Promoting Erotic Art