|TOM OF FINLAND FOUNDATION|
OVER A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING EROTIC ART.
|AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER
Saturday Night Awards Dinner
He may have needed his bodyguard to lift him from the black Bentley (license plate: HUSTLR) into the gold-plated wheelchair, but to the audience at the Foundation’s Awards Banquet in October, Larry Flynt stood tall: he was greeted with a prolonged standing ovation as he accepted the Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Performance artist Ron Athey (L) with award winners Rob Halford (upper right) and Larry Flynt
Board Member Dan Berkowitz presented the award, reminding the capacity crowd of Flynt’s longtime fight to protect First Amendment rights, and pointing out that without the efforts of people such as Flynt, events like the Erotic Art Weekend wouldn’t exist.
In his acceptance speech, Flynt urged the crowd to “speak up, speak out” on issues, and never to allow their rights to be violated. He also encouraged artists to remember their duty to “piss people off” by “pushing the envelope.”
Board Member Cliff Benjamin presented the Erotic Artist Hall of Fame to Swiss artist H. R. Giger. The Award was accepted by renowned performance artist Ron Athey.
Adult film star and rock’n’roller Joe Romero presented the Cultural Icon Award – created to honor someone whose artistic achievements and personal example cause him or her to become a role model – to Rob Halford, former lead singer of the heavy metal group Judas Priest. Accepting the award, Halford confessed that he owed his Judas Priest butch leather look to Tom of Finland, explaining that, in an early appearance with the band, he wore his sister’s dress. His advice to the crowd at the dinner: “Keep it controversial!”
The Awards – clear acrylic
obelisks – were designed by artist Philip Hitchcock, who merged two
of Tom’s figures into a single image, which is inscribed onto the Award.
(By the way, we’re not the only ones who think Philip is a winner –
he was chosen as one of OUT Magazine’s 100 outstanding gay people in
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