|TOM OF FINLAND FOUNDATION|
OVER A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING EROTIC ART.
by Durk Dehner
This is the first in a series of articles that will be hosted by collectors of erotic art. Our purpose is to understand what motivates an individual to collect, what type of works he or she focuses on, and how it all began. If you would like to be featured in The Collector's Corner either by being interviewed or writing a piece yourself please get in touch with us.
I'm going to be the first one to go stand in the Corner, for I'm a classic collector in terms of how it all started. Back in 1976, I saw my first Tom of Finland print on a wall of a bar (see below). It spoke to me in a direct, compelling fashion, and from that day I started to notice Tom's work and how it differed to me from the work of other artists. I realized some styles I liked more than others.
I didn't have any money back then, so I started by collecting magazine tear sheets. Gradually, I was able to afford some prints, and decided I would frame them and put them in my bedroom. Well, that led to a couple of potentially embarrassing situations: I didn't want my Mom to see them, but (of course) she was right in there as soon as I went out of the house. Then, I forgot to tell my housekeeper not to clean my room, and before I knew it, she was in there too, dusting them and cleaning them. I gave up, and decided to just let them all hang, and if they offended anyone, so be it for I needed to live my life in a manner that fit with my standards. My friends and relatives were obviously accepting, because I can't remember the last time anyone was offended!
I started out collecting pencil works, both Tom's and Etienne's. I really liked shading, and also works that had environments, like Tom's nature works with lots of trees, or those featuring dungeons with equipment hanging all over the place. In the beginning, I really didn't much like cartoon styles, such as the Hun's, but fifteen years down the road, I couldn't get enough of his works.
It was my plan to acquire one or two pieces by each artist that I liked. This has led to my having more than fifty pieces in my personal collection. Presently, though, I spend most of my time and collecting energy focusing on the Foundation's Permanent Collection.
I also liked the idea of having an artist do a commission for me, but that can be risky. For when you commission an artist to create a work, you must be willing to accept the artist's interpretation of what he or she thought it was you wanted not what you thought they would do for you. If you're not willing to go down that road and it can be a wonderful road for a collector to go down! then I suggest you stick to purchasing completed works.
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“The abstract, especially in those rough sketches, is very important to me, perhaps because of my advertising background, where layout is so important. Sometimes those first few lines cut the paper into such satisfying shapes that I don’t want to go on, but I always do, adding nostrils and nipples and bootstraps until I have filled the paper up as usual.” — Tom of Finland