AllTogether features artists from the Tom of Finland Foundation collections.
SILVIA PRADA (B. 1969, Spanish)
Silvia Prada is an artist whose figurative drawings celebrate Gay iconography and popular culture. Her work as an illustrator and decorative artist has been described as monochromatic and geometric documentation of pop culture. In collaboration with Tom of Finland Foundation, Prada released the book TOM (published by Capricious, 2018). Prada created drawings in conversation with Tom’s personal collages and archives — opening the narrative to understand new nuances of sexuality from a woman’s perspective. Prada lives and works in New York, NY.
“Sexy has nothing to do with who you sleep with or how you represent as a gender; it goes beyond that. It’s an energy, something we always want to pursue: this freedom in sex.” – SP
SIMON HAAS (B. 1984, American)
Simon Haas pursues his passion, primarily inspired by Tom of Finland, for gay erotic artwork in pencil and through digital media. With his twin brother Nikolai, he is one half of the studio The Haas Brothers, noted for their sculptural works that blur the line between art and design. In 2021, Haas participated in Tom of Finland Foundation’s charitable auction Sexology 101, and in the same year was a participant in the Tom of Finland Art & Culture Festival. Haas lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
“My college boyfriend gave me a Tom of Finland Kake comic for my 21st birthday, when I was studying at the Rhode Island School of Design. I was a recently out-of-the-closet painting student filled with angst about my sexuality and my art, and this was my first exposure to art that made me feel like I belonged. Tom of Finland’s deft pencil work and the immediate eroticism are enough to make any young gay boy a quick fan, but after a decade of looking at his drawings, I understand that his work transcends pornography and occupies a space of queer spirituality. I came for the giant phalluses and stayed for the joy of being a gay person. Tom’s drawings are unapologetically happy and have not a shred of shame in them — an incredible rarity in any depiction of homosexuality, even now. Tom had the fortitude of spirit to celebrate men at play at a time when most of the world considered gay people to be an abomination. I am 64 years his junior, and I have yet to discover within myself the kind of fearless happiness that Tom manifested in his work. Tom had such an abundance of radical self-acceptance that his work continues to impart the spirit of self-love onto gay men everywhere. I will never know Tom, but I can sincerely say that I love him with all my heart.” –SH, The New York Times Style Magazine, 2020
SLAVA MOGUTIN (B. 1974, Russian/American)
Slava Mogutin is a multimedia artist and author exiled from Russia for his outspoken Queer writing and activism. A third generation writer and autodidact journalist and photographer, he became the first Russian to be granted political asylum in the U.S.A. on the grounds of homophobic persecution. He’s the winner of Andrei Bely Prize for poetry, the oldest independent literary prize awarded in Russia. In 2018, Mogutin received the Tom of Finland Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and, in 2021, participated in Tom of Finland Foundation’s charitable auction Sexology 101. Mogutin lives and works in New York, NY.
“Tom’s work is as radical nowadays as it was back in the day, especially with all the censorship we experience on social media and in mainstream culture. Every time I see Tom’s work in major art collections, it still stands out as something that is against the grain. I love the fact that his work still has the same rebellious, revolutionary energy that is, unfortunately, missing from the work of so many young queer artists who are subjected to so-called ‘community guidelines.’ The Foundation’s work to promote and preserve radical queer art is especially crucial for this new generation growing up with social media. The mission is as important now as it was when the Foundation was established over 30 years ago.” – SM, Dazed, 2022
STUART SANDFORD (B. 1978, Briton)
Stuart Sandford is a Sheffield-born multidisciplinary artist. Working across different media, including photography, sculpture, painting, moving image, and installation, he has exhibited his work widely in galleries and museums worldwide, most notably at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, MI, and Centre de la Photographie, Genève. In 2014, Sandford was an Artist-in-Residence at the Tom of Finland Foundation. Sandford lives and works between London, Los Angeles, CA, and Mexico City.
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: 3rd June 2022Tags: AllTogether, AllTogether Artists, Silvia Prada, Simon Haas, Slava Mogutin, Stuart Sandford