Disseminating fantasies in the fullest possible capacity

17th February 2021, 1:23 pm

Tom made many of the works featured in TOM OF FINLAND Pen and Ink 1965 – 1989 with pen, ink, and marker for the purpose of reproduction in publications. The printed medium provided a space for Tom to produce and disseminate his fantasies in the fullest possible capacity. An important precursor for many later underground LGBTQ zines, Tom’s work was presented in graphic novels such as Trucker’s Delivery (1965), Sightseeing the Guards (1973), Circus (1975), Greasy Rider (1978), and perhaps most notably, the collection of 26 Kake comics (1968–1986) titled after the namesake protagonist—the artist’s recurring alter ego. A pen and ink picture from Kake in the Wild West (1982), for instance, shows the escapades of a leather-clad Kake in a cowboy western bar, documenting the convergence of two gay communities in an era still grappling with the criminalization of homosexual love.

Tom radically hijacked traditional masculine roles; throughout the show, his emboldened cowboys, sailors, and bikers engage in couplings at turns boisterous, erotic, idyllic, and tender.


“TOM OF FINLAND Pen and Ink 1965 – 1989”

20th Mar 2021 – 1st May 2021 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm –       An exhibition of finished and preparatory drawings in a range of media, including pencil, pen, ink, marker, and gouache. Together, these pictures demonstrate the breadth of graphic production key to Tom of Finland’s creative output throughout his lifetime. Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish; b. May 8, 1920, d. November 7, 1991) […]

Published: 17th February 2021

Tags: ,

Categorised in: