|TOM OF FINLAND FOUNDATION|
OVER A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING EROTIC ART.
|COLLECTOR'S CORNER by Sharp|
Since I have known Durk Dehner for some time I, naturally, have started recognizing the work of artists (and the artists themselves!) I have seen at the Erotic Art Fairs, and functions at Foundation headquarters. I have seen works in the Dispatch and Erotic Art Gallery by Mail, and the books published by TOF.
I decided to explore the world of erotic art and put together a present for Durk, and since I had a year till his next birthday... I figured it was the time to get “art smart”. Fast.
To help keep my project a complete surprise, I chose not to use the many resources of the Foundation, but instead ventured out on my own with my keyboard. I visited web sites (both pay and free), “talked” to guyz I met on the net through groups/forums, and pretty soon had a good idea of the style I liked and the artists who created the kind of work that was right for this job! I was able to contact artists directly, but if I had seen something by someone I couldn’t locate, I found that if I wrote to publishers of magazines where their works had been seen, the folks at these mags could be very helpful in locating an address for me.
I wrote to a few artists I knew and told them I wanted something of theirs as a gift to Durk Dehner. I wrote a one page description of the “scene” I wanted portrayed. As you can probably figure from the examples seen here, it was about a man, his plumbing, and the plumbing fixture he’s in front of! I talked about the environment, what had taken place before “we got there,” and what the man does for a living, for sport, and for kix! I guess I wanted something simple, familiar, and with the universal appeal of a blue collar male – a character Durk would dig and I would find “sexy” enough to keep the interest up. We discussed time frame and prices. I decided that since “Lucky” had 13 inches (why ya think they call him Lucky?) I wanted to have 13 pieces, by 13 artists.
I came up with approximately 90 candidates, and wrote to perhaps half of them. I got some “NO’s”, some “I don’t do commissions,” but for the most part, many seemed interested. I wanted artists I personally knew represented, as well as a few “names.” I discovered new artists whose style fit in well and may not have been known to the Foundation. For some of them this was their milieu – for others it was somewhat of a stretch into a new area. When it came down to it, I encountered so many talented men that thirteen seemed like a small number!
Some artists approached this project as a portrait, using the words I wrote, instead of photographs, for their research material, others like a commercial artist with me as Art Director. Some chose to do the work without showing me interim sketches or roughs, while others wanted my input and criticism every step of the way. Most delivered on time, but I also discovered that “deadline” means different things to different people! The project became my thesis in Erotic Art, not only for the knowledge I acquired about Art and Artists, but the way each artist works and how they see their work.
I paid between $125-$500 for these single figure drawings. Some artists gave the drawings as contributions, some gave me big juicy discounts (it was for DD and the Foundation after all), and some charged me full price.
by The Hun
Commissions have historically been tests of both patron and artist. They can be difficult and tedious for both parties. I wanted the Artist to stick with the physical description I had written (both man & setting) but to embellish it with what it is that makes each of them a creator of ART. They had to create a character and a situation that was appealing, inviting and “hot.” With some, there were struggles with the smallest details and the whole concept itself; with others, it seemed they read the page once and “GOT IT” first time out.
A commissioned piece is about dialogue. Lotsa conversations. Compliments and questions. Early on you have to mutually decide if it is to be a collaboration, or if you are paying the artist to “do his own thing” and you are willing to accept what you get. Commissions are not always completely satisfying, but for me I found I was “Lucky” to be rewarded with an experience that was greater than the sum of the individual parts.
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“…I named what I thought was an enormous sum. Without blinking an eye, he gathered up my life work and handed me the amount I asked for: $70… I didn’t expect more. Remember that homosexuality was forbidden in most of the Western world; so all those businesses were illegal, black market. I knew that they wouldn’t have paid me more anyway — or so I believed then.” — Tom of Finland