My personal life has over the past 10 old ages has become my narrative of a life-time, taking me to the inspirations in my personal art work, taking a strong involvement in cheery titillating art, from the plants of ; axel, George cayford, Dave Davenport better know as “ dogspunk ” and largely concentrating on the plants of Tom of Finland.

Tom of Finland ‘s existent name is Touko this is because he was born on 8 May 1920, on the south seashore of Finland, on the south seashore of Finland, and May in Finnish is “ Toukokuu ” .

His fatherland had been independent for merely three old ages when Touko was born, and outside its few metropoliss the state was still unsmooth and wild. The work forces who worked in the Fieldss and forests, the husbandmans and lumbermans, were true backwoodsmans, every spot as unsmooth and wild as the countryside.

Touko grew up among those work forces but was non a portion of their universe.

Both his parents were school teachers, and they raised Touko indoors in an ambiance of art, literature and music. Obviously talented, by the clip he was five he was playing the piano and pulling amusing strips. He loved art, literature and music.

Although my up bring was different we portion similar history ‘s, personally I grew up in a built up urban council level in Hackney London, with my Dendranthema grandifloruom as a individual parent.

Myself as a kid was much of an castaway in school life and societal events, I found my ego remaining more confined to the interior entirely and merely to concentrate on my surveies and music, this was non so easy with my larning troubles I had ever found it difficult to show my feelings, though still unknown.

Around the age of 13 seems to be the clip where I started to understand myself better, from fantasying about work forces to holding a difficult clip coming to footings with traveling threw pubescence. At this clip my Dendranthema grandifloruom had started dealingss with my current step-dad and fell pregnant, this prompted the move signifier the metropolis to Canvey Island, Essex.

Here I did n’t cognize any one and had no construct of if they would understand or except me, my phantasies were left, I became more of a active, clean individual which intern merely fueled my phantasies, at this clip in my life I tried to deny my feelings and invariable on my further.

College, at this clip I have excepted my feelings and announced that I was homosexual, this did assist me come to footings with my feelings, yet I still could non show what I felt words and text, basically I found college work analyzing the topic of computing machine information and communicating ( ICT )

But he loved those outdoorsmen even more. At that same age of five, Touko began to descry on a neighbor, a muscular, stamping farmboy whose name, “ Urho ” , means “ hero ” . Urho was the first in a long line of heroes to keep Tom ‘s attending while he memorized every flex of their thin musculuss, every humourous turn of their full lips.

In 1939, Touko went to art school in Helsinki to analyze advertisement. His captivation expanded to include the sexy metropolis types he found in that cosmopolite port – building workers, crewmans, police officers – but he ne’er dared proposition them.

It was non until Stalin invaded Finland and Tom was drafted into a lieutenant ‘s uniform that he found nirvana in the blackouts of World War II. At last, in the streets of the pitch-dark metropolis, he began to hold the sex he had dreamed of with the uniformed work forces he lusted after, particularly one time the German soldiers had arrived in their resistless Hessian boots.

After the war, Touko went back to analyzing art and besides took piano categories at the celebrated Sibelius Institute. Peace put an terminal to blackout sex and uniforms became rare once more, so Touko returned to his teenage pattern of locking himself in his room, depriving naked, and stroking himself with one manus while the other manus created on paper what he could seldom happen on the streets.

By twenty-four hours, he did free-lance graphics – advertisement, window shows, manner design. In the eventides, he played the piano at parties and coffeehouse, going a popular member of Helsinki ‘s post-war Bohemian set. He avoided the newcomer cheery scene, because what were so called “ artistic ” bars were dominated by the showy effeminateness typical of the clip. He traveled often, going really familiar with the homosexual cruising countries found in every major metropolis. Still, in 1953, when he met Veli, the adult male with whom he would populate for the following 28 old ages, it was on a street corner a few blocks from place.

At the terminal of 1956, at the goad of a friend, Touko sent his secret graphics to a popular American musculus magazine, but, being cautious in those paranoid times, and anyhow thought that “ Touko Laaksonen ” was excessively tough a name for American linguas, he signed them, ” Tom ” . The editor loved them. The screen of the Spring 1957 issue of “ Physique Pictorial ” features a riant lumberman, drawn by “ Tom of Finland ” . It was a esthesis. Touko became Tom of Finland. The remainder is history.

The demand for what Tom ever called his “ soiled drawings ” grew rapidly, but neither titillating art nor homosexual art paid really good in the Fifties. He shortly stopped playing the piano in order to give the clip to his drawing, but it would be 1973 before Tom of Finland was doing adequate money for Touko Laaksonen to be able to discontinue his daytime occupation in advertisement. Once he could give his attempts full-time to his titillating drawing, Tom combined photorealistic attending to detail with his wildest sexual phantasies to bring forth a organic structure of work that, for sheer homoerotism, will likely ne’er be surpassed.

1973 was besides the twelvemonth of Tom ‘s first art exhibition, in Hamburg, Germany, but that experience was so negative ( all but one of the drawings were stolen ) that it would be 1978 before he would hold to another exhibit, in Los Angeles, for which he made his first trip to America. Over the following twosome of old ages, a series of exhibitions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, with trips to America for each one, turned the diffident Helsinki creative person into an international homosexual famous person with friends the like of Etienne and Robert Mapplethorpe. The concern terminal of his calling was taken up by a Canadian American, Durk Dehner, and under his capable direction Tom at last had fiscal security. In 1981, Tom ‘s lover, Veli, died of pharynx malignant neoplastic disease ; at the same clip, the AIDS epidemic began to hit hard the very metropoliss and circles of friends he had so late come to love in America. Still, throughout the Eightiess, the trips to America continued to increase until Tom was passing six months in L.A. with Durk Dehner for every six he spent back in Helsinki. After emphysema was diagnosed in 1988, Tom was forced to restrict his darling travelling but continued to pull.

When the disease, and the medicine, made his manus tremble excessively much for him to put to death the finely elaborate work for which he had become celebrated, Tom switched back to a childhood front-runner, pastel, put to deathing a richly coloured series of nudes in that medium about up until his decease from an emphysema-induced shot on 7 November 1991. In malice of his ain fond term, Tom ‘s work must be considered more than merely “ soiled drawings ” , and given some of the recognition for the alteration in the cheery universe ‘s self-image. When Tom ‘s work was foremost published, homophiles thought they had to be fake adult females, and spent their lives concealing in the shadows. Thirty-five old ages subsequently, homosexuals were much more likely to be hard-bodied sun-lovers in boots and leather, maleness personified. Tom ‘s influence in that way was no inadvertent by-product of his art. From the beginning, he consciously strove to transfuse in his work a positive, up-beat openness. When asked if he was non a small abashed that all his art showed work forces holding sex, he disagreed decidedly: “ I work really difficult to do certain that the work forces I draw holding sex are proud work forces holding happy sex! ”

by Valentine Hooven III

Writer of the full-length life “ Tom of Finland – His Life and Times ” published by St. Martin ‘s Press in 1993 ( beginning for biographical exposure ) . This short life is taken from the Taschen monograph “ Tom of Finland ” published in 1992.

Durk Dehner ( cubic decimeter ) and Tom of Finland circa 1985

Tom of Finland, the creative person and adult male, was born, raised and lived most of his life in his native Finland, deceasing at that place in 1991 at the age of 71. I was in my mid-20s when Tom and I started matching back in 1976 and was ripe and ready to see the messages he portrayed in his plants. Tom rapidly became the most of import individual to act upon my life to that day of the month. I discovered through his work that I was every bit much of a adult male as any of my heterosexual opposite numbers and that sex and love between work forces could be a epic bonding experience – non unlike that of Greek and Roman soldiers.

Tom ‘s favourite character, “ Kake ” , was ever merely as willing to acquire his hole plowed as he was to make the ploughing and clearly sent the message out that sex between work forces is merely plain manfully – no affair what place one takes. By his characters ‘ actions Tom showed unchecked sexual passion between work forces and, afterwards, a brotherhood and chumminess. His drawings besides encouraged cats to experiment and force boundaries, to make anything to turn your spouse on and acquire him off.

Tom – along with the build lensmans of the 50s – has eventually been acknowledged as the adult male responsible for making the image of the leatherman that persists to this twenty-four hours. His drawings non merely rocked the boundaries of the homosexual community of the clip but besides spread into the consecutive leather biker nines of England, Germany and, finally, the US. Tom ‘s leatherman image has manifested itself as a manner of apparels, physique, attitude and life style. In fact, some consecutive work forces are get downing to see Tom ‘s Man the “ uber-man ” , an ultimate male sexhound function theoretical account.

In Tom, we have a gramps of kinds to portion with younger coevalss and if Tom were here today his message would be to remain immature at bosom. ( In fact, Tom continued to patronize the leather and dancing scene good into his 60s ) . Tom would besides state both work forces and adult females that when they are in the heat of sexual rousing and they look at that particular cat, his prick looks as large and delightful as any Tom of all time drew himself.


“ Dirty ” Durk Dehner

Cofounder and Director of the Tom of Finland Foundation and proprietor of the Tom of Finland Company.

Tom liked to utilize his friends as theoretical accounts for his drawings. On the left is one of many drawings having Durk. On the right is Tom ‘s friend Aarno who was Tom ‘s favourite theoretical account for the ideal leatherman.



“ I know my small ‘dirty drawings ‘ are ne’er traveling to hang in the chief salons of the Louvre, but it would be nice if – I would wish to state ‘when, ‘ but I better say ‘if ‘ – our universe learns to accept all the different ways of loving. Then possibly I could hold a topographic point in one of the smaller side suites. ” – 1991


“ In those yearss, a homosexual adult male was made to experience nil but shame about his feelings and his gender. I wanted my drawings to antagonize that, to demo cheery work forces being happy and positive about who they were. Oh, I did n’t sit down to believe this all out carefully. But I knew – right from the start – that my work forces were traveling to be proud and happy work forces! ”


“ I about ne’er pull a wholly bare adult male. He has to hold at least a brace of boots or something on. To me, a to the full dressed adult male is more titillating than a bare 1. A bare adult male is, of class beautiful, but dress him in black leather or a unvarying – ah, so he is more than beautiful, so he is sexy! ”


“ … I named what I thought was an tremendous amount. Without winking an oculus, he gathered up my life work and handed me the sum I asked for: $ 70… I did n’t anticipate more. Remember that homosexualism was forbidden in most of the Western universe ; so all those concerns were illegal, black market. I knew that they would n’t hold paid me more anyway – or so I believed so. ”


“ The abstract, particularly in those unsmooth studies, is really of import to me, possibly because of my advertisement background, where layout is so of import. Sometimes those first few lines cut the paper into such hearty forms that I do n’t desire to travel on, but I ever do, adding anterior nariss and mammillas and bootstraps until I have filled the paper up every bit usual. ”

Matters OF Size

“ Cock size does n’t count to me. I did n’t get down making those mammoth pricks until the censors let the magazines publish full frontal nakedness. I had to come up with something you could n’t acquire in a exposure. So those large pricks are all for the other guys – I ‘m an buttocks adult male myself. ”

Male Muse

“ Whenever I was depressed or disgusted, I would experience him, that spirit indoors, pressing me back to life, back to drawing, I believe there is a batch to the universe that ca n’t be seen or touched, and if you turn off from that – particularly if you are an artist – you are avoiding an of import portion of life, possibly the very bosom of it. ”


“ My drawings are chiefly meant for cats who may hold experienced misinterpretation and subjugation and experience that they have somehow failed in their lives. I want to promote them. I want to promote this minority group, to state them non to give up, to believe positively about their act and whole being. ” – 1990


“ My whole life long I have done nil but construe my dreams of ultimate maleness, and pull them. ” – published in Rebel

“ In those yearss, a homosexual adult male was made to experience nil but shame about his feelings and his gender. I wanted my drawings to antagonize that, to demo cheery work forces being happy and positive about who they were. Oh, I did n’t sit down to believe this all out carefully. But I knew – right from the start – that my work forces were traveling to be proud and happy work forces! ” – Tom of Finland


Tom of Finland, unsmooth study, 1983, 16 9/16 ” x 11 3/4 ” , graphite on paper.

In 1984, the non-profit Tom of Finland Foundation was established by Durk Dehner and his friend Touko Laaksonen a.k.a. Tom of Finland. As Tom had established worldwide acknowledgment as the maestro of homo-erotic art, the Foundation ‘s original intent was to continue his huge catalog of work. Several old ages subsequently the range was widened to offer a safe oasis for all titillating art in response to rampant favoritism against art that portrayed sexual behaviour or generated a sexual response. Today the Foundation continues in its attempts of educating the populace as to the cultural virtues of titillating art and in advancing healthier, more tolerant attitudes about gender.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art conservator Bruce Davis selected this Tom of Finland pulling to be added to the Museum ‘s lasting aggregation and exhibited in their 1997 “ Master Drawings ” show. ?

? Unlike many creative persons, Tom of Finland ‘s work has ever been appreciated by a grass-roots audience as his work was foremost seen in commercial scenes such as magazine illustration, postings and advertisement. From the position of art historiographers, Tom ‘s work had an consequence on planetary civilization unmatched by that of virtually any other creative person. Tom ‘s work had a defining impact on the manner homosexual work forces throughout the universe were perceived and more significantly, how they perceived themselves. Tom ‘s work has, hence, had a ripple consequence throughout homosexual and consecutive civilization during the last 40 old ages, act uponing lifestyle, political tolerance, design, manner and art.

One of the primary ends of the Foundation is to advance Tom ‘s work along with other titillating art so that it receives the academic attending it deserves. From a critical position, thanks in portion to the sustained committedness of the Foundation, Tom ‘s art is now get downing to have the recognition it merits. The Finnish Museum of Contemporary Art was the first to do a progressive move in its 1991 acquisition of three Tom of Finland plants. In 1997 Tom ‘s work was acquired by two more major museums: The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Actively promoted by the Foundation, Tom ‘s work is progressively being shown in galleries worldwide. A recent well-received exhibition at the Mark Moore Gallery in Santa Monica, California established this blue-chip gallery as the official representative for gross revenues of Tom ‘s work in the modern-day art universe.

The Foundation is a non-profit organisation, a 501 ( degree Celsius ) ( 3 ) Educational Archive: # 95-406-5795, supported by contributions from the populace, assorted fund-raising events and dues from its loyal rank. The work forces and adult females who support our attempts and ends dedicate themselves both financially and as voluntaries enabling the Foundation to show an impressive figure of activities on a limited budget.

The Tom of Finland Company exists as a separate entity from the Foundation. The Company was foremost established by Tom and Durk to supervise the publication of his work and to extinguish the job of widespread buccaneering of his images. In order to foster the end of back uping both Tom ‘s art and the art of other titillating creative persons, the Company initiated and funded the Tom of Finland Foundation and continues to supply free promotion and frequent contributions to foster its purposes.

The Foundation has produced three Tom of Finland Retrospectives. The latest features the finest representation of his work yet with a preface by noted lensman Bruce Weber and an essay by former Whitney Museum conservator Richard Marshall.

In recent old ages, the Foundation has quickly expanded its Permanent Collection through contributions of all mode of titillating graphicss, by creative persons of all genders and sexual orientations. In add-on, a turning archive of images by other creative persons to complement the extended one of Tom ‘s work is in advancement. These archives provide an priceless resource to conservators, pupils, art historiographers and aggregators.

To back up and promote emerging titillating creative persons the Foundation produces a bi-annual competition which provides exhibition of their work, promotion and awards. The publicity and sale of both new and constituted creative persons is facilitated through the “ Erotic Art Gallery by Mail. ” The work represented scopes from unknown creative persons to authoritative images by Tom, Don Bachardy, Robert Mapplethorpe and more. The undertaking ‘s success has exceeded outlooks in supplying a topographic point to spread out the commercial value and exposure of titillating art.

The Foundation hosts societal events throughout the twelvemonth to raise financess and to supply a sense of community for protagonists of titillating art. An illustration is the one-year “ Tom ‘s Bar ” which promotes and exhibits titillating art in a really popular party scene and raises financess to back up the Foundation ‘s activities at the same clip. The quickly turning “ Erotic Art Weekend ” brings together creative persons and frequenters from many parts of the Earth. It provides them with a societal environment in which to web, chances to research the archives and most significantly, the chance to purchase and sell plants at the two-day Erotic Art Fair.

In a tradition that goes back 1,000 old ages, “ pillow books ” were given to twosomes at matrimony to learn them how to pleasure each other. ? ? Silk pillow picture, early Twentieth Century, 11 ” x 11 1/2 ” , donated to the lasting aggregation by Cathie Bagwell.

An illustration of the new work the Foundation supports and exhibits through its Emerging Erotic Artist Contests. ? ? Aaron Holliday, “ Gay Hunter ” , 1997, 19 ” ten 24 ” , graphite on paper, on loan to the Foundation.

The Foundation archives include all types of art including this 1950 ‘s epoch build exposure. ? ? Al Urban, 1952, 8 ” ten 10 ” exposure, donated to the lasting aggregation by the Doan Family Foundation.

THE MUSEUM OF EROTIC ARTOne of the Foundation ‘s future ends is to set up a lasting Museum of Erotic Art that will expose a stimulating scope of work in a scene suited to the importance it deserves. This end is at the top of the Foundation ‘s precedences now that Tom ‘s work is being accepted by established museums. The realisation of this end will necessitate the support of all who have an involvement in titillating art, whether for personal satisfaction or to advance tolerance and freedom of look. With your support the Foundation will advance a deeper, healthier and more tolerant grasp of human gender by opening an exhibition of titillating art that will ne’er shut: our Museum.

WHAT YOU CAN Make TO HelpA Note from the President? ? Continued support from persons such as yourself is important to the Foundation ‘s endurance and continued growing. Visible community support will greatly help our voluntaries in pulling corporate parts and successfully using for grants. Every dollar contributed and new rank will guarantee the future protection of your right to see whatever art you choose.

Contributions of all sizes are ever welcome, including networking with your friends and concern contacts to promote farther support. Contributions can be earmarked for specific intents, such as recent contributions which will travel straight to our Museum fund.

The Foundation ‘s greatest nutriment, nevertheless, comes from our loyal members and voluntaries. Merely by holding a committed and active rank can we experience secure that our promise to continue the ends of the Foundation will be sustained for descendants. Several degrees of rank are available so that everyone may take part.

Aside from supplying support, members create a sense of community and chumminess with others who portion their involvements. As a member you will have the Foundation ‘s quarterly “ Dispatch ” newssheet which will maintain you informed of all Foundation activities and events with in-depth articles on a broad scope of titillating creative persons, updates on new acquisitions to our lasting aggregation and our of all time increasing library of international titillating creative persons past and present. Members besides receive price reductions on event admittances and Foundation ware.

Finally, with our turning roll of activities, voluntaries are more of import than of all time. In the hereafter we hope to spread out our activities to new countries throughout the universe. All voluntaries are welcome and will happen whatever work they may be asked to make exciting and a great manner to socialise and web. We particularly need voluntaries with specialised accomplishments in selling, fund-raising, design, gallery installing, art history/archiving and museum surveies.

As a laminitis of the Tom of Finland Foundation, I want to give you my personal confidence that our dedication to the cause of continuing titillating art and educating the general populace as to its importance is both intense and ageless. I look frontward to working together with you and the many others who will assist beef up and spread out the vision I established with Tom of Finland into the following century.

Durk Dehner

Right about what I do.

Right about im insperation – Tom of Finland and others… .

Compare my work against his Talk about legil facets where bdsm is ilegil and picture taking can brake this, this is the ground for me pulling my work or with images with my ego have oning a mask..

( result being that there is huge betterments to be made to my work but due to holding my involvements in this country this is something I can hone over clip. )