"The Bastion of
In December 2006, I — Durk Dehner — was in attendance
at the Gallerie Richard in Paris, France. My purpose was to assist
with the arrangements and opening of a one-man exhibition of Tom
of Finland’s work. One of the visitors, who is a friend to the
gallery owners Jean-Luc and Takako Richard, was the contemporary
French artist photographer, Rachel Laurent.
Her face beamed with enthusiasm upon her arrival inside the gallery.
She took a panoramic view of the works that awaited her. In welcoming
Ms. Laurent, I inquired to the reason she contained so much pleasure
in being at this exhibition and she told me, “I have arrived at
the bastion of freedom. Displayed here are the works of a man
that didn’t cower or inhibit himself in his expression of what
was in his heart. He represents freedom for all of us.”
Above is an interview with the artist Tom of Finland and
his ever expanding European tour. The next opening is in Liverpool,
England (the European Union's Cultural Capitol) as part of the
City's biennial festival in 2008. Exhibition
dates: September 20 thru November 30, 2008.
the Homotopia festivals website.
Link to a slide
show of the artwork in the European show.
major spread done by British magazine QX celebrating 50 years
of Tom of Finland in print.
Pages 22 - 36.
Tom is in London
Times, too. On November 3, 2008 they gave him a full page
as Mark Simpson writes about how Tom of Finland influenced his
life and society in general.
Tom of Finland: The Parfum
We have established a new license with the French parfumer,
their dirty drawing gallery and see how the French promote
Tom of Finland.
from the July 2008 launch party in Paris.
The parfum is presently being sold at Harvey
Nichols in the UK.
Photo by Henning von Berg
Creating a Renaissance in the Erotic Arts
Tom of Finland, the man, is no longer with us, none the less
his legacy — his art — continues to expand its audiences.
Tom's work gives a message of encouragement to all who indulge
in the luxury of his vision: life is more comfortable and less
inhibited when we are naturally ourselves.
In the Western world, homosexual communities have been celebrating
the integration of our sexuality in our lives and now it is our
responsibility to carry this forward in this new century, as it
was in Greco-Roman times.
The Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF) has been part of creating
a renaissance in the erotic arts, providing the support and recognition
for thousands of artists and their integration into the world
of fine art collecting. In a culture that has been breed from
the puritan ethics of repression and suppression there is a force
to negate the inclusion of the homosexual into society. We know
what an important part we have. We rejoice. And, with Tom of Finland,
we take it very seriously.
Here is some material on Taschen's Tom of Finland XXL
book that's in production. The book contains an extensive introduction
by Edward Lucie-Smith and essays by Brendt Arell (director of
the Kiasma museum in Finland), Armstead Maupin, Todd Oldman, Dian
Hanson, Holly Johnson, John Waters, and Durk Dehner.
art book is expected to come out in early 2009.
clip on producing the Tom of Finland XXL Book.
on Tom of Finland from Taschen.
A few examples of pieces that have been, or are, for sale through
gallery exhibitions. We are presently putting up more works on
to these pages. The Foundation, since its inception, has used
the revenue from sales of these sketches to supplement our operations.
Tom gave the drawings to the Foundation in 1985 thinking they
would be useful in the Archives. We immediately took 500 for the
Permanent Collection and supplied Tom's gallery representation
with others in order for Tom to financially benefit from them
up until his death in 1991. It is expected that the prices on
these works will increase significantly once the Taschen book
View Works for Sale
There was purpose and reason for Durk Dehner coming into Tom's
life. He was to make sure that Tom's work had a life after he
was gone and that it be made available to those who would be best
served by it — those future generations of developing young
Tom brought the male form back to the highly developed level
as it had been revered in Greek and Roman times. It was again
being displayed in all its grandeur, beautiful in stature, strong
in physical and emotional presence, in addition to being friendly
and approachable. Tom guided us to seeing that all of these attributes
could be together, and that man could be all the more sexy and
appealing for embodying them.
Tom in Print
|Instigator Magazine - Issue 18 (PDF)
||The Legacy of Tom of Finland - from the unique perspective of Durk Dehner & Michael Thorn
|Gorgeous Magazine (PDF)
||The Art of Being Gay
with Lust - London Times (PDF)
||Tom of Finland
Exhibit at Homotopia - Liverpool (to Nov 30, 2008)|
in the City - UK June 2008 (PDF) |Tom
of Finland Fragrance|
Tom of Finland: His Purpose
Tom wanted his heroic males
to celebrate their manhood providing young developing homosexuals
a life with no shame or guilt - and to enjoy being sexual. In
Tom's realm his men have no inhibitions, no reason for remorse.
Tom was a rebel with a cause.
Going back to 1950 we see the formidable signs of Tom beginning
to become an instigator in form and action. It was Tom
who, from seeing some photos from the film The Wild One
with Marlon Brando, immediately transformed his uniforms from
flannel and brown leather to the dark, mysterious and sensual
This inspired a whole new subculture of leather-clad queer boys.
These fellows made Tom's drawings "their own" and from there sprang
the beginnings of bike clubs and leather bars. These boys would
be seen throughout the western countries of Europe and North America,
all the way down to Australia and South Africa.
In the early years there was little separation between heterosexual
and homosexual bikers as they both wore similar gear, much of
which Tom presented first in his drawings. His designs then found
their way to the leather makers who began to manufacture the military-style-uniform-gone
Tom expanded the portrayal of his men to include sailors, beach
bums, cops, and cowpokes in addition to other iconic images of
thugs. He included every variation of the entire military corps
along with a healthy sampling of lumberjacks and farm hands. These
were the men that Tom was devoted to holding up as his heroic
Viking-type Gods of the North. Men devoured his work and celebrated
their newfound male identities with fervor.
Spanning five decades, starting in the mid 40s, Tom's mission
was to provide other homosexuals with strong positive images of
themselves. His brothers were staking their claim to their own
identity as Men. This was critical, as up to that time they had
been classified as anything but men. No one had effected such
change and transference into culture since ancient times. Tom's
work continues to cross generational boundaries, making available
to all that seek it, a sense of pride, freedom and strength in
being who they are — as nature intended. Tom's men, masculine
by nature, are homosexual.
Tom, however, didn't expect that his vision would be so
widely accepted and expressed through such a creative presence
on so many levels of society. From such artists as Bruce Weber
and Robert Mapplethorpe in New York to Juan Davila in Australia;
in men's fashion from Tom Ford of Gucci in Milan to Gary Robinson
and David Johnson of Tom of Finland Clothing in New York to Jean
Paul Gauthier in Paris; from Freddy Mercury, Judas Priest, Adam
Ant and Bronsky Beat from Great Britain to the creation of the
Village People in the U.S. They all drew inspiration and influences
from Tom's works and his message.
A link to a short
biography on Tom of Finland.
“"I work very hard to make
sure that the men I draw
having sex are proud men having happy sex."
Tom of Finland
The Tom of Finland Foundation: Our Purpose
When the Tom of Finland Foundation
had a presence at the American Swingers Convention in Las Vegas
a man in his mid-forties came up to our booth. He was handsomely
dressed with a well defined body, showing off his muscles under
a tight fitting Lacoste shirt, jodhpurs which were tight to the
thigh and buttocks and knee high English riding boots which had
a mirror like spit shine.
He proudly stated that the men in Tom's drawings were his ubermen.
From his youth he had modeled himself after them for they were
exactly how he felt about himself with the one exception; that
he was attracted to women.
He went on to express that he and his wife, who joined him at
the booth, wanted to buy the Tom Retrospective book for their
son who was now approaching his 21st birthday. They felt
he was mature enough to view Tom's work, and in their eyes, there
was no better gift they could offer their son. With theirs (and
Tom's) guidance they felt they could encourage a balance in his
They wished their son to be outgoing, free in his actions and
assertive and proud of his manhood. This coupled with the ability
to laugh at himself and having a keen interest in arousing and
satisfying his partner's sexual appetite.
They felt that Tom's drawings were the embodiment of these attributes
that they held in high regard. How evolved and secure this couple
was to understand the messages of his work and to instinctively
trust their son would take what was there for him without a worry
that their son would turn queer.
As a messenger, Tom provided what was needed, and wanted, by
a society too long in fear of the danger and ridicule associated
with the freedom of sexual expression. He was the defender for
all men, and especially for those homosexuals whose true nature
was suppressed by a cruel family or an unfriendly society.
Tom wasn't concerned if the men in his drawings were too exaggerated
in their super masculine style. This was the character that had
long been denied homosexuals and he was going to make sure to
offer it to them. Tom didn't care if his brothers donned the uberman
style that he personally so enjoyed and found sexy. He just wanted
to make sure they knew who they were — MEN.
His passion continues...
Tom and Durk created the Foundation so that future generations
could enjoy his legacy.
Tom has been noted as one of the five most influential artists
of the 20th Century. "As an artist he was, superb, but
as an influence he was transcendent."
—Harvey Shipley Miller, Judith Rothschild
Tom's work is in museums such as MoMA, The Art Institute
of Chicago, LACMA and his home country's Kiasma.
Part of Permanent Collection of
to a Flash presentation on Tom of Finland.
to gallery slide show of Toms Vintage Art.
There is a new Tom
of Finland Polo Shirt just on the market.
The future is being made by all of us, so in reading this, embrace
what inspires you and pay attention to what aspects of yourself
make YOU so unique. To be queer is a responsibility; we live
up to our expectations.
Be absolutely fabulous,
President & Cofounder
The future is being made by
all of us, so in reading this, embrace what inspires you and pay
attention to what aspects of yourself make YOU so unique.
To be queer is a responsibility; we live up to our expectations.
Be absolutely fabulous,
President & Cofounder
new hub page leading to the World of Tom.