|TOM OF FINLAND FOUNDATION|
OVER A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING EROTIC ART.
When strangers ask me what kind of art I do, I tell them lakes. Always a beautiful lake, I tell them, with an angel with diaphanous, outstretched wings hovering above the water, and golden trout leaping over a rainbow formed by her tears. A young boy stands on the shore, fragile and alone, peering into its watery depths.
"What a lovely scene," they say. "You must show us some day."
"Oh, I'm much too shy."
Itís a lie, of course. What I really do are pictures of men torturing and killing other men.
Often for sexual pleasure.
"Take yer Nazi bullshit and beam it and u far away from this universe. Delete this site, or I will leave the club after 48 hours." That's what someone said, demanding that my site be deleted from an on-line club. My site was deleted. This was my first encounter with censorship. No need to stir up the waters beneath my weeping angel.
I donít know exactly what name to give my art. I just know itís what I do. It offends some, fascinates others, and turns on quite a few. I believe there's a largely unexplored region in the human psyche, something Jung called "the Shadow," that many of us are reluctant to face. It isnít pretty, but it must be examined at if weíre to gain control over it. Until we do, it exerts its influence in secret, which can lead to real-life violence of all kinds.
Censorship is an ugly thing. Iíve received few strongly negative criticisms about my work.
One recently came from a fellow who threatened a boycott of the Tom of Finland Foundation if it continued to support my site. I offered to withdraw my link, but the Foundation didnít much cater to that idea. Some of Tomís art was considered offensive and/or "controversial" in his time, they said, and he certainly would have supported my unfettered right to show my work.
ToFF doesnít censor, I've learned. Book burning has already been tried and found wanting.
I can appreciate that my images arenít for everyone, but I donít understand why a few would want to deny others the freedom to view them and decide for themselves. Perhaps these self-proclaimed arbiters of good taste in art have their motives, but must they force their tastes on others? None of my images has ever been hauled into court and charged with a crime, but evidently thatís not good enough for these self-anointed censors.
In another era, Iíd probably be typing this in prison because my work had been deemed "offensive." Since launching my website, Iíve gained renewed respect for the First Amendment rights of the United States, especially now that some countries are prosecuting their most creative citizens for what amounts to little more than thought crimes. One artists who shows his work on my website has firsthand knowledge of this fact. No wonder my angel is weeping.
Another artist featured on my site secreted away hundreds of his works in cardboard boxes for decades. Just what is there to be ashamed of? That we harbor such dark fantasies within us? If so, I donít remember putting them there. They just sprouted along with my pubic hair. Sort of like being gay, and I see no reason to censor myself.
I define censorship as any act that suppresses human growth and creativity. Ironically, these days most of it comes from within. Some things are just too painful to look at, I suppose, so we pretend they don't exist.
Personally, I would recoil in horror were any of the material on my site to take place in real life, but please allow me the freedom to create my art. Thatís all I, or any artist asks for, really; the freedom to explore our God-given talents. I accept whatever responsibility is mine, and pray that life deals justly and compassionately with me; but I refuse to decide for others what they can view or read. I'm not superior enough to make that judgment call.
Perhaps my art represents all that is base in the human spirit. I don't know, but I do know one thingóyou don't come to the light by suppressing the darkness. Everything must eventually be uncovered and revealed for what it is, and therein lies the real danger of censorship. It stifles our spiritual growth.
Let them boycott my site. Let the closed minds of the world beam me far away from this universe. Until they do, Iíll stand humbly on the shore with my guardian angel, peering into the depths of the deep.
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MATTERS OF SIZE
“Cock size doesn’t matter to me. I didn’t start doing those gigantic cocks until the censors let the magazines publish full frontal nudity. I had to come up with something you couldn’t get in a photograph. So those big cocks are all for the other guys — I’m an ass man myself.” — Tom of Finland