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OVER A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING EROTIC ART.

DISPATCH SUMMER 2001

THE COLLECTOR’S CORNERerotic art news

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.


DISPATCH SUMMER 2001
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© TOM OF FINLAND FOUNDATION 2002


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MALE MUSE
"Whenever I was depressed or disgusted, I would feel him, that spirit inside, urging me back to living, back to drawing, I believe there is a lot to the world that can’t be seen or touched, and if you turn away from that — especially if you are an artist — you are avoiding an important part of life, maybe the very heart of it.” — Tom of Finland