AllTogether features artists from the Tom of Finland Foundation collections.
MICHAEL KIRWAN (B. 1953 D. 2018, American)
Michael Kirwan was an artist known for his distinctively stylized erotic illustrations and comics, published in over 650 magazines and exhibited worldwide. Although he focused primarily on homoerotic themes, he also produced substantial work for the heterosexual and fetish markets. Kirwan was the first Artist-in-Residence at Tom of Finland Foundation, and the room he inhabited at TOM House is now officially named The Kirwan Solarium. In 2004, he was inducted into Tom of Finland Foundation’s Artist Hall of Fame. Michael Kirwan passed away on 26th May 2018.
“It’s important that we control the language that describes us. It’s important that we produce the visual archaeology of our existence. It’s important that we retain our own voice, our own power, our own unique sensibilities.
Tom of Finland was the reason I got into the homo-porn business. I wasn’t fucking around with guys that looked like that and decided to portray a wider range of “hot” males in age, ethnic background, stressing socio-economic realities, and various body types. Tom’s beautifully drawn men were a fantastic dream, but I like the more average guys who had to put in the extra effort to get a second date. Tom opened the door, and I snuck all my ugly friends inside.” –MK
OLAF (B. 1938 D. 1997, American)
Olaf Odegaard’s contributions to the homoerotic community date back to the late 1970s. He was a fellow artist of Tom of Finland, Etienne, Domino, and a slew of other greats whose works were featured in the American magazine Drummer from early on. Olaf was, in a sense, adopted by Foundation in the mid-1990s. He was on his way to becoming homeless and, having led a monastic life for many years, had lost the confidence to go anywhere. The Foundation got him an apartment across the street from Tom of Finland Company in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA, and everyone contributed to finding buyers for his works.
PALANCA (B. 1968 D. 2014, Peruvian)
Palanca (born Pedro Saltillana) was an artist known for his homo-fetish art, which centers on the bare male foot. In 2001, Palanca went to Los Angeles, CA, where he met everyone at Tom of Finland Foundation. He showed at Tom of Finland Art & Culture Festivals, LA Pride’s Erotic City, and TOM’s Bar. In 2007, he was honored with a Special Recognition from Tom of Finland Foundation. His drawings were published in the American magazines FootScene, Sneerzine, Honcho, and Inches, and also in European magazines. He passed away on 22nd July 2014.
“It wasn’t until after a short summer holiday in Spain that I decided to do something to be shown to the gay public, so the artist name, ‘Palanca’, was born and I thought ‘gear shift’ was a good fit for me.” -Palanca
The exhibition tells the individual stories of the artists. At the same time, the exhibition locates parallels, interactions, and influences between Tom of Finland Foundation, Tom’s aesthetic impact, and the community of artists that have formed throughout the years around them…View
Published: 16th May 2022Tags: AllTogether, AllTogether Artists, Michael Kirwan, Olaf Odegaard, Palanca