eNews #171
September 16
, 2014


Over A Quarter Century Dedicated To Protecting, Preserving And Promoting Erotic Art

ToFF's eNews keeps you updated on the latest
Tom of Finland Foundation news

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Stamps Available Now

September 8, 2014

available exclusively in the US:

Tom of Finland Foundation is pleased to announce that Itella Posti Oy has released the Tom of Finland stamps on Monday, September 8th. A limited quantity of the stamp sheets, as well as a gift pack that includes three post cards, are now available exclusively for sale in the United States through the Tom of Finland Foundation website, with proceeds benefiting the Foundation.

Los Angeles, CA
Events & Exhibitions

October 4 - 5, 2014


This year
At TOM House!


Los Angeles, CA

March 30 -
November 3, 2014

Emerging Artist Competition

Open to any artist with the exception of previous winners of this competition,
or artists who are already commercially selling work that portrays sexuality.
Top prize is an original Tom of Finland drawing!

Competition is extended to November 3rd!



September 6, 2014 -
March 29, 2015

Museum Centre Vapriikki

Sealed with a Secret
Correspondence of Tom of Finland

A multifaceted portrait of the artist Touko Laaksonen
is conveyed through his extensive correspondence.


Tampere, Finland

August 28 -
September 28, 2014

MUU Gallery
Tom of Finland:
Dirty Frames

The exhibition includes artists associated
with Tom of Finland Foundation.


Helsinki, Finland
See our full listing on the Foundation's Events Page.

World of Tom of Finland

TOM's Blog

Foundation Announcements

Upworthy, a website that posts viral content, has posted the video on Tom of Finland that was created by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles. This video was used to promote MOCA’s Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland exhibition (November 2, 2013 – January 26, 2014) and has had over 75,000 YouTube viewings.

Upworthy introduced the video as follows: Tom of Finland (birth name: Touko Laaksonen) was an erotic artist, but he was so much more than that title suggests because of two things: who he was drawing and when he was drawing them.

More on TOM's Blog


Durk Dehner and
Tom of Finland.

Finnish national newspaper Iltalehti has published a full page article on Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen). The article’s title quotes Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF) President Durk Dehner: “Touko ei ollut vain taiteilija” (translation: “Touko was not only an artist”).

Featuring an interview with Durk, the article discusses the current wave of Tom of Finland projects – all accomplished with ToFF support – in Tom’s native Finland. Two of these projects were launched on September 8: the forthcoming Tom of Finland postal stamp series, which has attracted worldwide attention, and a coinciding exhibition of Tom’s letter correspondence, Sealed With A Secret – Correspondence of Tom of Finland, Two other projects were launched: Tom of Finland: Dirty Frames – an exhibition of Tom’s comic art, alongside comic art by other ToFF-associated artists – and a book of Tom’s comics in their original Finnish text, Tom of Finland: Sarja Kuvia.

More on TOM's Blog.

Tom of Finland’s work and legacy has continued to receive prominent attention in his native Finland, with Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF) President Durk Dehner and Vice President S. R. Sharp appearing on Finnish radio station Radio Rock.

Appearing on the rock station’s most popular program, Heikelä Korporaatio (Heikelä Corporation), Durk and Sharp discussed a range of topics, including the forthcoming Tom of Finland postal stamp series, a newly-released book of Tom’s comics in their original Finnish text, the Tom of Finland biopic in development by director Dome Karukoski – and even Tom’s influence on popular rock music.

More on TOM's Blog with video links


Jouni Lepistö (artist);
and Durk Dehner.

Capacity crowd enjoys the opening of Tom of Finland: Dirty Frames exhibition.

The opening of the exhibition attracted a capacity crowd at Helsinki’s MUU Galleria, with many attendees needing to cool off outdoors. Durk Dehner, Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF) president, later praised the launch as the best opening of a Tom of Finland exhibition that he had attended, with ToFF Vice President, S. R. Sharp, adding: “Everyone was laughing and totally enjoying it!”

More on TOM's Blog


Mari Kasurinen

In 2012, a Huffington Post article reported that Finnish artist Mari Kasurinen had created a sculpture series “My Little Pop Icons” – a range of customised My Little Pony sculptures modelled after pop culture icons.

More recently, however, Kasurinen has come to attention for adding a new sculpture to her series – a My Little Pony modelled after Finland’s most famous artist, Tom of Finland. My Little Tom of Finland joins many other pop culture favourites in Kasurinen’s My Little Pony pantheon, including My Little Michael Jackson, My Little Elvis, My Little Ziggy Stardust, and many more.

More on TOM's Blog


Gold Cap
Restored 1978 Polaroid photograph 14.25” x 11”.

Tom of Finland Foundation has received a donation of a photograph that was included in The Fairoaks Project, an exhibit of Polaroid photographs that Frank Melleno took of the Fairoaks Hotel, a San Francisco bathhouse, in the spring and summer of 1978.

Signed and donated by the show’s curator, Gary Freeman, the photograph is called Gold Cap. It is captioned: “A strategically placed clothespin advertises a preference by this sensitive young man.”

More on TOM's Blog


Photo: Leon Mostovoy

A wedding at TOM House! On Thursday August 14, the first ever wedding was held at TOM House when author Tom Cho and scholar Jackie Wykes were married in the backyard garden at sunset.

In February this year, Tom had a four day stay at TOM House. This stay informed his essay on Tom of Finland, which was published by Canadian national newspaper National Post in May (Part 1 and Part 2 of this two-part essay, “Tom and Me”, can be read online). In June, as Tom prepared to return to TOM House for a longer stay, Jackie – who had edited Tom’s essay – suggested TOM House as the venue for their forthcoming wedding.

More on TOM's Blog

"Palanca's Hideaway"

On July 22 this year, Palanca, an artist from Peru who was a close friend of Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF), passed away. Last year, ToFF had most of the rooms of TOM House designated with plaques. One of the closets in TOM House was designated as “Palanca’s Hideaway”:

More on TOM's Blog

(Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Untitled (Preparatory drawing), c. 1979, Graphite on paper, 8.31" x 11.69", ToFF #1004 © 1979 Tom of Finland Foundation

Frontiers, a Southern California LGBT magazine, has promoted the 2014 Tom of Finland Emerging Artist Competition.

As noted by contributor Dominic Preston, “L.A.’s Tom of Finland Foundation is this year celebrating both the 10th anniversary of its Emerging Artist Competition, and the 30th anniversary of the foundation itself”.

Read the full article by Dominic Preston in Frontiers


Issue 25 of gay men’s leather fetish publication Instigator Magazine contained a retrospective article on the magazine’s featured artists over the past decade – among them, Tom of Finland and many other artists who have had involvement with Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF).

Titled “The Art of Instigation”, the article featured work by Tom, along with ToFF-associated artists such as Pedro Palanca, Hector Silva, GreaseTank, Sean Platter and many more. The article also gives a special thanks to ToFF:

More on TOM's Blog


Cover of
The Archive, issue #49

The Spring issue of The Archive, the journal of the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, contained an appreciative write-up of the Bob Mizer and Tom of Finland exhibition held at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) from November 2, 2013-January 26, 2014.

Written by Hunter O’Hanian, Director of the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the article discussed both the MOCA exhibition and Art & Physique Circa Bob & Tom, a coinciding exhibition at the ONE Archives Gallery and Museum. O’Hanian’s article was titled “Pretty and Think: Two Exhibitions in LA Explore the Work of Tom of Finland, Bob Mizer, and Others”.

More on TOM's Blog


Photo of
Durk Dehner
by J. E. Ponce

Durk Dehner, in his role as president of Tom of Finland Foundation, was recently commended by The Regiment of the Black and Tans, a Los Angeles based social and fraternal organization for men with an interest in uniforms. Durk received his award for outstanding service to The Regiment over a period spanning 2000-2014.

The award was presented at The Regiment’s 40th Anniversary Dinner on 12 July. The foundation also exhibited a selection of Tom of Finland artwork at the event. For the occasion, Durk dressed in full leather, with Tom of Finland insignia – a Tom of Finland belt buckle and a “Tom’s Men” patch (this patch is currently available to those who join the Foundation at the Commodore level of membership):

More on TOM's Blog


Your key to kewl, by Various Projects.


More on TOM's Blog

Art News

Canadian Premiere Of Tom In America
At Festival Des Films Du Monde Montreal 2014

Sally Kirkland's character makes a discovery.

The film Tom in America, starring Academy Award nominees Burt Young and Sally Kirkland, recently had its Canadian premiere when it was screened for the 2014 Festival Des Films Du Monde Montreal (Montreal World Film Festival) on August 23 and 24, 2014. The director and stars were also present for a Q&A.

Directed by Flavio Alves, the film’s synopsis makes reference to the Tom of Finland doll that was released in 2011:

For 50 years, Michael and Betty have been united by one guiding principle: no secrets. But when a provocative Tom of Finland doll triggers Michael’s long-buried desires, Betty discovers that secrets have been part of their life all along. With long-held mysteries thrust into the open, the foundation of their marriage and the path of their golden years is suddenly rocked. Now, they must redefine their future, and decide if it is one their love can survive.

More on TOM's Blog with a video link.

Kuukausiliite Photoshopped a Tom Leatherman
Into Photo Of Helsinki Landmark

Detail from a depiction of the Havis Amanda statue,
re-imagined with a Tom of Finland leatherman

Havis Amanda statue (1908)

Sculpted by Finnish artist Ville Vallgren (1855-1940) and unveiled in 1908, Havis Amanda is one of the most popular landmarks in Helsinki. Located at the city’s Market Square, it is commonly used as a meeting place for locals. Vallgren originally called the statue Merenneito (Finnish for “mermaid”), but it eventually became known as Havis Amanda (“sea nymph” in Swedish). Although the statue was originally the subject of controversy due in part to its nudity, it came to gain wider acceptance and today is considered a symbol of Helsinki.

This is not the first time that the Havis Amanda has been subject to affectionate modification. Every year, university students place a Finnish student cap on the statue’s head as part of Vappu celebrations for the coming of Spring. As can be seen from the full article in Kuukausiliite (in PDF form here), the Tom of Finland parody involves two additional hats: as well as the leatherman’s cap, one of the sea lions surrounding the statue is wearing a leather cap.

More on TOM's Blog

TOM's Buddies:
Excerpt From Tom Of Finland’s War Journal Published

Mainiolla uimarannalla, which translates into English as Ideally the Beach.

An excerpt from Tom of Finland’s war journal has appeared in a new book that literally lays bare intimate moments shared by servicemen during World War II.

During the war, soldiers were encouraged to establish close “buddy” relationships for emotional support. Recently released by art book publisher TASCHEN, My Buddy: World War II Laid Bare features photos of these intimate buddy relationships from an archive collected by Los Angeles photographer Michael Stokes, along with texts by writers such as Gore Vidal.

More on TOM's Blog

Tom of Finland: Dirty Frames
Gets National Media Coverage In Helsinki

Tom's art on Yle's TV channel TV1

The recent opening of the comics exhibition Tom of Finland: Dirty Frames at MUU Gallery in Helsinki has attracted media coverage from Yle, Finland’s national public service broadcasting company.

The August 28 exhibition opening made the 6 PM news bulletin of Yle’s TV channel TV1 the following evening and featured an interview with Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF) president Durk Dehner.

The opening was also the launch of a book from Finnish publisher Like Publishing, Tom of Finland: Sarja Kuvia. ToFF teamed with this publisher to present numerous Tom of Finland comics in their original Finnish text, including several stories that appeared in print for the first time.

More on TOM's Blog with a video link.

TOM Published In His Native Finnish:
Tom of Finland – Sarja Kuvia

(From "Jukka's Horny Adventure",
recreated by Sean Platter — studio splatter, 2014),
1957, Pen & ink on paper

"The mere mention of the name “Tom of Finland” has always brought a smile to people’s faces and, with this in mind, it is with great pleasure that we partner with Like Publishing in bringing to Finland this special book of Tom’s comics with their original Finnish text. To the best of our knowledge, several of these stories have never before been published.

"We dedicate this compendium to those mentioned here and everyone else in Finland who has, and will carry, the banner of pride associated with the name and legacy of this amazing Finn. His artistic and social legacy continues to influence and transform culture worldwide."

— Durk Dehner, President and Cofounder, Tom of Finland Foundation

Tom of Finland — Sarja kuvia is being published in paperback and totals 128 pages. You don't have to understand Finish to enjoy the artwork!

More on TOM's Blog.

Attracting Wide Attention:
Tom of Finland Stamps And Corresponding Exhibition

Sealed with a Secret:
Correspondence of Tom of Finland exhibition
(photo: Juha White River)

The Tom of Finland postal stamp series and a coinciding exhibition of Tom's letter correspondence, Sealed With A Secret — Correspondence of Tom of Finland, recently launched in Finland to national and international attention.

Finland’s postal service, Itella Posti Oy, released the Tom of Finland stamp series on Monday, September 8. The three 1st class stamps were coordinated by Solja Järvenpää of Arts Promotion Centre Finland; Susanna Luoto and Durk Dehner of Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF); and Timo Berry of Finnish design agency BOTH. In the lead-up to the release, the historic sheet of three stamps raised immense interest worldwide, attracting preorders from 178 countries.

On the same day as the stamp release, the Sealed With A Secret — Correspondence of Tom of Finland exhibition opened as the inaugural show at Finland’s new Postal Museum. Housed in the Vapriikki museum centre in the city of Tampere, this exhibition features a selection of Tom’s correspondence – on display for the first time – along with a selection of additional items, including some of Tom's clothing.

More on TOM's Blog.

Tom of Finland? In China?
Art World Magazine Features An Excerpt From Tom of Finland’s Biography

TOM OF FINLAND (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920 – 1991),
Daddy’s Day (Detail), 1982, Graphite on paper, © 1982 Tom of Finland Foundation

Art World Magazine, an influential art magazine published out of China, has published an excerpt from Tom of Finland's authorised biography, translated into Chinese.

Tom of Finland Foundation approved the publication of the excerpt from Tom of Finland: Life and Work of a Gay Hero, written by F. Valentine Hooven III and published by Bruno Gmünder Publishing in 2012. The excerpt appeared in issue 272 of Art World Magazine – an issue titled "Sexy Signal", which focussed on sex and bodies in contemporary art.

More on TOM's Blog.

See What's Happening In The World Of TOM

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