January 16 - December 18, 2011
Turku, Finland

Turku ÅBO 2010 Foundation

Tom of Finland Retrospective
An Exhibition

(Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Untitled, 1960, Graphite on paper, ToFF #0562 c.1965 , © 2011 Tom of Finland Foundation

Adults 12 €, discount ticket 8€ (7-15 yrs, students, draftees, pensioners, Turku card).
Children under 16 years free of charge
Group discount for more than 15 persons: - € 2 from normal ticket
In addition, all elementary school classes, who have booked a guided tour pay in advance,
get in for free.

“His art is art at best: provocative, commenting on society,
bold and wonderfully drawn. - A good reason to visit Turku!"

The time for acknowledgements and thanks with respect to the
Capital of Culture year will be the weekend from 17 to 18 December.
Viimeinen mahdollisuus – vain muutama päivä!

Day on Masculinity in the Tom of Finland Exhibition!
Saturday, March 5 · 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
A collaboration between the Association Regnbågsankan and Turku in 2011

“He is so handsome, he must be gay.” A talk about manhood with a focus on appearance ideals. Location: Logomos seminar

We wonder how the ideal man looks like today, how ideals are created and how they are maintained. We treat the subject also by questions about homosexuality. Is there such so that one is called oman must not be “too” good looking and that a gay man, however should be nice to be better treated? Panelists include Tom of Finland-expert Berndt Arell, sociologist January Wickman and this year’s Mr. Gay Finland Kenneth Liukkonen. The discussion is led by Anders Ahlbäck.

4:00 to 5:00 PM A guided tour of the Tom of Finland-exhibition with Rita Paqvalén and Berndt Arell. We will hear more about the man Touko Laaksonen behind the famous cartoons.

Click HERE to view a short video of the opening night!

The time is coming of the triumphant return of the man, Touko Laaksonen, to his country of Finland. Laaksonen is best known as the artist Tom of Finland. His body may have passed over two decades ago, yet his spirit lives on in his art as he proudly makes his homecoming to his native region of Turku as part of the 2011 European Capital of Culture celebrations.

Since early 2009, Tom of Finland Foundation in partnership with Homotopia, has been preparing for this very special exhibition in Turku, which has been curated to span this master artist’s lifetime from his early childhood drawings to his most accomplished works. Tom of Finland has been proclaimed as one of the most influential artists of the last century. He transcended into, and became part of our culture, being expressed in numerous ways. His influence can be seen from Jean Paul Gaultier fashions and the photography of Bruce Weber to the stage presence of Freddy Mercury, Rob Halford of Judith Priest, Adam Ant, and Holly Johnson of Frankie Goes to Hollywood fame. He is felt in the paintings of Pierre et Gilles and Juan Davila to the films of Kenneth Anger and Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

Tom of Finland made his homeland internationally famous through his renderings of its natural splendor and the majestic, northern, god-like men that he created – TOM’s Men. His return to Turku offers his own people a new opportunity to experience his genius, to be enthralled in his mastery and to absorb the Beauty in his depictions of the male species. It is a chance to snicker along with Tom with his classic Finnish humor and to see ourselves in his simple, straightforward approach to something that comes naturally to all of us – sex. Beginning in the mid 1950s, Tom’s clear objective was to give homosexual males strong, positive, masculine role models – proud men-loving-men. No guilt, no shame. Very simple. Very powerful. His artwork provided generation after generation healthy and happy imagery with which they could identify – something that western culture had been unwilling to supply and, in fact, did it utmost to curtail.

The world abounds with a love for this hero and his art, stretching across all boundaries. It is now time for everyone to permit themselves to enjoy him, honor him, cherish him and be proud of him for all that he gave us. When one hears “Finland”, one thinks of Nokia, Jean Sibelius, and Tom of Finland, of course.

Durk Dehner
President & Cofounder
Tom of Finland Foundation, Los Angeles

Turku ÅBO 2010 Video on Tom of Finland
Tom's influence on homosexuality.
"I think he's back. He's back, and with a vengeance."
Interview with Curator Gary Everett and Asta Bowman in April for Live2011.

Homotopia Video on Tom of Finland
Includes interview with clips of Tom and Durk Dehner.
The Homotopia site includes many interesting gay related videos.

A clip from 2008 featuring James Lawler and Holly Johnson
(former frontman from Frankie Goes To Hollywood)
taking a tour of the Fellow Travellers exhibition including
the Tom of Finland and Nice08 at Homotopia Festival Liverpool.

Mies Mikkonen’s film documents the triumphant return
of the permanent collection to Turku
including some of Tom’s most iconic and rarely seen artwork.

Sokos Hotels and Kaleva Travel offer various hotel and ticket packages for the Logomo Capital of Culture year exhibitions as well as for various other events in the 2011 programme.

Kaleva Travel provides packages for groups of at least 10 persons according to their wishes including arrangements for 2011 events and associated events. Kaleva works in cooperation with the Capital of Culture partners Finnair, Sokos Hotels and Tallink Silja.

More information: +358 (0)20 561 5578).

Turku ÅBO 2010
Köydenpunojankatu 14, 20100 Turku, Finland · Map · +358 (0)10 561 2000
Turku ÅBO 2010 Website

Tom of Finland Retrospective 2011 Facebook Page
Information on Tom, the exhibition, videos, photos and more!

Heated Discussion on the Exhibition

Turku ÅBO 2010 Program
(PDF in Finnish, 7,984 KB)

In the Finnish Press: YLE

Homotopia TV Website

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