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OVER A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING EROTIC ART.
June 21 - August 27, 2006
Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki City Art Museum - Kluuvi Gallery
presents:
Tom of Finland

Most Drawings and Lithographs on Display for the First Time

Tom of Finland, 1981

The exhibition includes 90 works from mainly Finnish
and also Dutch and Swedish private collections.

Born in Kaarina in western Finland in 1920, Touko Laaksonen earned worldwide fame under the name Tom of Finland. He died in 1991. Tom of Finland's drawings have had a strong influence on erotic art and they have been an inspiration to innumerable artists around the world. He created a new image of a masculine homosexual man who is comfortable with himself and proud of what he is.

His works convey a positive gay identity and are self-ironic and humorous, as is typical of subcultures. He called his works 'dirty pictures' and was astonished that people were so interested in them. In the postscript of his biography, he commented on his own objectives: "I hope that in the future even those who are different will be accepted, not only gays but all people in the world with all their differences. I have worked for this goal all my life."

Tom of Finland's works are in the collections of, for example, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. Two exhibitions on Tom of Finland's art have been previously organised in Finland, one in Helsinki and the other in Jyväskylä. Both took place in the 1990s. They showed works from the collection of the Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles.

This exhibition is organised in collaboration with MSC Finland - Tom's Club. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Helsinki City Art Museum and the publishing company Like will publish the book Tom of Finland: Ennennäkemätöntä - Unforeseen.

Helsinki City Art Museum - Kluuvi Gallery
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11 AM – 5 PM, Sunday 12 AM – 4 PM, Closed Monday.

Unioninkatu 28 B, 00100 Helsinki, Finland +358 9 310 87039

Helsinki City Art Museum Website

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THE LOUVRE
“I know my little ‘dirty drawings’ are never going to hang in the main salons of the Louvre, but it would be nice if — I would like to say ‘when,’ but I better say ‘if’ — our world learns to accept all the different ways of loving. Then maybe I could have a place in one of the smaller side rooms.” (1991)
— Tom of Finland