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We always welcome mail to the Tom of Finland Foundation.



Bill Rubino, Director of the Stockholm AIDS organization "Life Foundation", who organized and sponsored the party and exhibition.

The Life Foundation's Europride kick-off party was a big success and the accompanying largest-ever European exhibition of Tom's work was beautifully mounted and well attended. The photograph below was taken at the event's kick-off party.


Since we don't have a translation of the newspaper article that accompanied this photograph, here's an excerpt in the same spirit from a review of June's "Tom's Bar" from the Los Angeles straight alternative paper "New Times".

At the El Rey last Sunday afternoon, the Tom of Finland Foundation celebrated artist Tom of Finland's birthday with a party called Tom's Bar, now in its ninth year. The big shindig attended by over 900 fans of the artist's erotic drawings, included a shaving booth, nude artists' models (paper and pencil available), go-go dancers, temporary tattoos, and music by Orange County girl-group 4-Gazm and Brian Grillo's yet-to-be-named band. This was the fourth year Grillo has played Tom's Bar (he sang lead in Extra Fancy at the last three), which makes him the house musician of sorts. Anyway, scads of men (in all manners of uniform and undress) and other fans (yes, there were women there, both lesbians and straight girls, and straight men -- Tom's Bar is pansexual) danced to DJ Paul V, who was fresh from Big Bird's Feather Boa night at Dragstrip 66 (where Warhol star Holly Woodlawn jumped out of a trash can and sang her updated version of Oscar the Grouch's "I Love Trash"). Said one handsome hunk, "There are sure a lot of pheromones swirling around tonight." Testosterone, ascent of Man! - -Lisa Derrick

Foundation Board Member Mike Goldie (R) grabs some of the fun with some favorite volunteers Tom's Bar. Michael McVeey, Southern California Mr. Leather, makes a stimulating appearance at Tom's Bar. At the Foundation's other June event, a prestigious exhibition of Tom's work at the National Arts Club in N.Y.C., Foundation President Durk Dehner examines objet d'art Tony Mills, our always enthusiastic Honorary Board Member.


Foundation's Fourth Annual Weekend Is Coming!

In this self-portrait with model, camera and artwork, Tom Bianchi is putting more of himself than ever into his photographs. His new work will be on display at the '98 Erotic Art Fair.

If it works, do it again! October, the month when the old gods come out to play, is again the choice for the Foundation's annual Erotic Art Weekend when it hosts collectors and artists from around the world on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 16, 17, and 18. Much else will be similar to 1997's event. Friday's get-acquainted mixer and exhibition of the Foundation's permanent collection will again be at the Foundation headquarters in Tom's old home in Echo Park and the fundraiser dinner will be at Taix, the historic Sunset Boulevard restaurant. Last year's location for the Fair itself, LA Lofts, with its glossy hardwood floors and huge windows and skylights, was unanimously agreed upon for 1998's event. This year, however, in addition to the two main studios, the Foundation is also requesting the two smaller loft studios, which will provide some room for expansion, especially for the increasing heterosexual erotic art participation. One of the most popular features of the Fair, the rare chance to see 'how it's done' by watching artists (such as Miguel Angel Reyes) and photographers (such as Jeff Palmer) work from live nude models, will be as lively as ever.

For out-of-town artists and collectors, the host hotel will again be the Metropolitan. Only a limited number of rooms are available at the Foundation's rate. As in past years, the Foundation is always willing to provide inform-ation and assistance. Just contact the office.

Last year, all 50 booths were taken before the deadline, so artists are advised to plan early. Though more booths will be available this year, a number of the spaces are already on reserve. Some of the biggest names in erotic art are already committed, including both the Hun and Leon, wildly popular artists whose works have done so much to make the previous fairs notorious. Tom Bianchi, last year's sales champion, will be back, featuring his latest book of more daring photographs. Though of course all of the art on display is for sale, most of the crowd come just to look at the art, schmooze with the artists and admire the models. For those who want to take something home with them, the works will range from $2 greeting cards to multi-thousand-dollar bronze statues and every price and medium in between.

Many organizations of the mainstream art world -- museums, schools, galleries -- are beginning to realize that erotic art is artistically, socially, and historically valuable, thanks in part to the Foundation's activities. There is still much to be done in that direction but before things get too serious, the Foundation's Weekend wants to emphasize that erotic art is, first and foremost, a pleasure. So come to the 1998 Erotic Art Weekend here in Los Angeles and find out for yourself!



Successful Fundraiser Is the Height of Fashion

by Michael Goldie

Foundation President Durk Dehner (L), with Tim Ranney (R) whose talent and commitment helped make the N.Y.C. fundraiser a truly class act.

New York, New York was the city. May 13, 1998 was the day. It was called The Tom of Finland 400' but the crowd was more like 500 and raised over $15,000 for the Foundation! The N.Y. benefit was organized by Tim Ranney along with his aide Farrell MacManus, who worked magic in putting this fundraiser together with the coordination of the New York Consul General of Finland, Maija Lahteenmaki, her press officer, Petra Tuomi, and her assistants Tarja Silverman and Liisa Levanen. The event was engineered to coincide with the celebration of 80 years of Finnish independence and was co-sponsored by Out Magazine, Enrico Cinzano, and the National Arts Club which lent their Gallery (Museum) for the evening's exhibition of over 30 Tom originals with a Robert Mapplethorpe photo of Tom and works from some Foundation artists and winners of the 1997 Emerging Erotic Artist Contest. Hot live models revealed the new line of the Tom of Finland Clothing Company. People came from every part of the globe to drink champagne, consume delicious morsels, and place bids in the Silent Auction in hopes of acquiring a Tom of Finland signed lithograph. When the time came to say goodnight, they lingered, reluctant to leave.

The Foundation intends this to be the first of many such events that we would like to produce around the country. If you or anyone you know is interested in helping sponsor a fundraiser such as this one in your area, please contact us at Foundation headquarters. At the close of the evening, O. Aldon James, the Director of the National Arts Club, invited us back next year to hold the Second Annual New York 400 at his Club. We hope even more of you in the NYC area will be able to attend!

Bob Seidemann's unforgettable crucifixion photograph was one of the works exhibited at the '400'. Bob has generously donated into the Foundation's permanent collection a pair of his large-format photographs, which are created entirely in the studio, using no digital manipulation of the image after it is shot.


New Membership Policy

Due to increasing office and mailing costs, our Board has decided to change the policy regarding the mailing list for Dispatch and other Foundation events. As a result the Foundation's mailings will only go to full-fledged Members starting with the next issue of Dispatch. This policy includes artists and galleries. So if you're not already a member, the time has come to show your support and join!

"Sher'f's Up" by Erotic Art Gallery featured artist Valentine

To make the transition easier, there is a new sign-up bonus for each new membership and re-enlistment. Each new sign-up will receive a subscription to the Erotic Art Gallery by Mail, a $20 value! This project has been so successful, we want to share it with as many people as possible. Many past subscribers were interested mainly in collecting and investing in erotic art but we think it's a must-see for anyone with an interest in the pure enjoyment of great erotic art. Three times a year, the Erotic Art Gallery features 24 reproductions of stimulating erotica, many of which are not to be seen anywhere else! Plus you'll get extra information and news plus an in-depth article about each issue's featured artist. Issue # 10 is now available featuring Valentine (who claims he holds a world-wide monopoly in homoerotic wood-burning) plus the popular Greek artist Ion, contest-winner Aaron Holliday, established masters Rex and Tom of Finland plus many more. The stand-alone subscription rate for the Gallery has been raised to $20 within the U.S, and Canada. As with the memberships, add $10 if you are outside the U.S. and Canada (see the membership form for details). Those of you already subscribing to the Erotic Art Gallery will automatically have your subscription extended when you join or re-up.

Click here to view an on-line sample of recent Erotic Art Gallery offerings.

In addition to the Erotic Art Gallery, the other levels of membership will receive an extra sign-up bonus. "Seamen" will receive the Tom of Finland Foundation magnet, and "Commanders" will receive the Foundation cast pewter pin.

The Foundation Pin and Badge

So now is the time for all good women and men to come to the aid of erotic art and freedom of expression. Join today by filling out the membership form enclosed with the mailing, and if you're already a member, please pass the form on to a friend who might want to join.



Tom's Bar VIII Funds New Computer System

Thanks to all of you who attended Tom's Bar this year, the Foundation was able to purchase a much-needed new computer system for our office. Our new Pentium II computer has all the bells and whistles -- a scanner and a new, very fast HP laser printer as well as Windows 95 and Office 97 software with lots of disk space and memory -- to bring our office into the millennium with style. This new equipment will enable us to work more efficiently and cut many of our costs for producing the newsletter and other printed materials.

Our next equipment needs are a separate computer system for archiving. Many of you know we currently do all our archiving manually which requires a great deal of time and effort. In the very near future, we hope to purchase a graphics computer system including digital camera, CD and scanner with the capability to do high quality digital imaging. With it we'll be able to have accurate permanent records of the Foundation's archives, better document past and current erotic artists, produce collections of erotic art available to the public on CD, and have a comprehensive retrieval system for erotic art research, students and the general public for generations to come.

Cathie Bagwell (L) and Melissa Ward (R) were working hard and looking good at this year's Tom's Bar. Their dedication before, during and after the event helped make it a very successful fundraiser.

Proceeds from Tom's Bar helped us purchase our new office computer system. Proceeds from the New York event have started a fund for the purchase of the archive computer. Again, we thank you for your support. If you have expertise in computers for digital imaging, etc. and would like to help the Foundation, let us know; we'd appreciate your input. If you'd like to make a donation specifically to the fund for the archive computer, please give a us a call or send a note with your donation. Your continued donations allow us to keep up the work of preserving erotic art and promoting the acceptance of that art in our society.


Learn More About the Foundation!

We currently need one or more volunteers, 4 to 8 hours per week, to help with general office filing, copying and organizing. If you have a few hours free Monday through Friday between 10 and 5 and would like to be more involved with the Foundation please call (213) 250-1685.

We can't guarantee the Foundation's office work will be this stimulating, but you will get to know some friendly and interesting fellow members.

We also have ongoing opportunities for volunteers to help with the following activities: Archiving -- every other Sunday afternoon Mailings -- one evening every other month Special Events -- such as the Erotic Art Fair Volunteer Coordination and Recruitment Special Projects -- Press releases, newletter writing, new publications, scanning and image processing, public speaking, grant writing, event planning and more.


Michael Mitchell is the newest addition to the Foundation archives. Michael was the featured artist at the Foundation's booth at the International Mr. Leather Weekend market where he showed his work and gave live drawing demonstrations.


The Sculpture of Marcello

"Torso II", 1996, hand-carved German soapstone, 11" high

In a turn of the century wooden house nestled in Los Angeles' Silverlake district, the sculptor Marcello Lupetti lives with his partner Terry. To visit with him is like enjoying a fine wine, for this Argentine-born-and-raised man uses words and body language to produce a rich bouquet of character. It is rather jolting to learn that this same man was kidnapped and tortured by the dreaded Argentine secret police as a young adult university student. Unlike most of those in that same situation, Marcello survived and headed north to Brazil and then on to Europe where he made his home in leather-clad Germany before moving a couple of years ago to Los Angeles.

The artist at work

He and Terry live a quiet life, enabling him to spend many hours alone working on his statues. His favorite medium is stone, especially soapstone. Into the crevices of its natural beauty, he carves the male torso. He likes working in alabaster and bronze also as they bring his artistry very much alive. His works are small, usually ranging up to 12 to 14 inches in height. Allowing his imagination to guide him, he finds his satisfaction in coaxing torsos, buttocks, and genitals out from the ancient stone. Recently he has begun to explore man-made substances, specifically polymer resins, carving forms and then producing reliefs using the liquid resin. Still having a preference for rock, he has mastered the effect of making his new cast sculptures appear as if they were granite. His most recent endeavor is a male phallic fountain that can sit on the back of a toilet and use the water (prior to its filling of the tank below) to act as a basin to wash one's hands from the spewing male phallus. His work is as pleasing to the hands as to the eye, something to handle, hold and caress. The Foundation is proud to help this artist develop his career, showing his works at events and through our Erotic Art Gallery by Mail. You can meet him in person at this fall's Erotic Art Fair.


New Large Format Book from Europe

The book includes creative views of Tom's work such as this chart of an ideal "70's Clone"

Benedict Taschen Verlag's monograph book of Tom of Finland's artwork did so well for the German publishing house that they have worked in cooperation with the Foundation to produce a much larger book on the artist. Following Tom's rule of "bigger is better" it is an oversized format with over 325 pages and 500 images. Retailing at about U.S. $70.00 in hardcover, its broad crossover view of Tom's whole career will cover the full range of his art and has an excellent introduction by the Belgian art historian, Micha Ramakers. When it becomes available, the book will be available on the Tom of Finland Company site.


The Foundation was deeply grieved to learn of the passing of Bruce Davis, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's curator of drawings, March 25. He was 46. Through his efforts, and those of Christopher Ford, the first work by Tom of Finland was accepted into the permanent collection of a major North American museum. Though ill with AIDS, Bruce became a member of the Foundation and did what he could for Tom's reputation, putting his work not just in the museum's vaults but on public display as well. The Museum has set up a Bruce Davis Fund and the Foundation is pleased to contribute a modest amount in his memory. You are encouraged to do so as well.


Cast antique pewter with blue cloissone lettering, 2 1/2" x 2 7/8" standard uniform size, $70.00 U.S. To order: 213-250-1685.


Rob Clarke is a New York based artist whose work is available through the Tom of Finland Company Gallery. Call 213-666-1052 if you are interested in his work. Of course, his work can also be seen in the Foundation's archives.


Tony Mills Makes a Big Impression in Chicago

John Zimmerman, "Mr Lure NYC" (L), Tony Mills, "Mr. IML '98" (C) and Brian Harmon, "Tom's Man at IML '98", do the Foundation proud in this year's New York City Gay Pride Parade. The crowd was treated to Tom's vision of a healthy and proud expression of male sexuality in the flesh, and lots of it!

Though he is a six-foot-four tower of muscle topped with an eye-blinding smile, Florida's Tony Mills is walking proof that it's what's inside that counts. And inside him you find both an enormous heart and a mind that's as sharp as it is focused. He is already hard at work promoting a number of causes he believes in, foremost of which is our Tom of Finland Foundation. Before his investiture as Mr. International Leather on May 24 in Chicago, Tony has been volunteering his services at Foundation events. Above and beyond the call of duty, in March he came to L.A. and ran the office for the month after the resignation of Valentine Hooven as director, giving Durk Dehner the time to decide on Melissa Ward as our new administrator. He is now a permanent member of the auxiliary board of directors and everyone agrees how lucky the Foundation is to have him involved. Inside and out, our Tony Mills is a true Tom's Man!

Brian Harmon shows off his title and a lot more after being voted"Tom's Man IML '98"

The job of Foundation President
has its perks: Durk makes a 'manwich'
with Brian and Tony

John Zimmerman,Tony Mills and Brian Harmon give the summer a parting shot


Foundation Gets Wild at Tom's Bar VIII and Hosts Finnish Consulate Dinner

An uninhibited throng of Foundation supporters made "Tom's Bar VIII" a big throbbing, uncut, let-it all-hang-out success.

Though the May 13 fundraiser in New York City was hard to top, Tom's Bar VIII on May 10 was a smash at Los Angeles' El Rey, a dramatically Deco club on Wilshire Blvd.'s Miracle Mile, where the crowd was even more spectacularly studded than usual. The main attraction aurally was rocker Brian Grillo and the main visual attraction was an exhibition of the winners of the last Emerging Erotic Artist Contest topped by grand prize winner Darrell Smith who flew in from Toronto to accept his grant and sell several pieces of his artwork. He'll be back for the Fair in October! Tom's Bar VIII was the most successful yet, raising over $10,000 for the new office equipment described on page 2.

In a very different tenor, on June 17, the Foundation's board of directors hosted the Finnish Consul General to L.A., Maria Serenius, her charming raconteur husband and a number of her staff members, giving them a buffet dinner and a tour of the headquarters, to thank them for their support of last summer's Mark Moore Gallery exhibit of Tom of Finland.



This is a feature that appears in the printed version of Dispatch. Here on the web, the events listed here plus more regular updates are to be found on the Foundation Events page.

If you wish your event to be listed please give us as much advance notice as possible, especially for the printed newsletter which is mailed to all Foundation members. See the Events page for contact information.

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1998 Tom of Finland Foundation

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