About the contest

The purpose of this contest is twofold: to encourage artists to share their erotic work and to elevate the field of erotic art by rewarding some of the best current examples. The contest is open to any artist with the exception of previous winners of this contest, or artists who are already selling erotic work commercially. All others are eligible: advertising designers, art students, or just midnight doodlers – anyone who creates erotic works of art.

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Tom of Finland
Emerging Artist Competition 2022



"Velázquez move over"
ŁUKASZ LEJA (NYC, USA), Velázquez Move Over, 2022
Oil on canvas, 20.00″ x 20.00″

Single Figure

1st  Prize

The Light In Darkness 1
CHASINDOODLES (CA, USA), Light in the Darkness, 2022
Acrylic, cardstock paper, linocut, canvas, 9.00″ x 12.00″
(Right image is same painting in black light)

2nd  Prize

GRENDEL (CA, USA), Maypole, 2022
Ink on paper, 8.00″ x 12.00″

3rd Prize

ERICA PODWOISKI (CO, USA), Seduce/her, 2021
Cyanotype on paper, 24.00″ x 19.00″

Dual Figure

1st Prize

Tumescence IV Marc Aurèle Debut ToF

MARC-AURÈLE DEBUT (UK), Tumescence IV, 2015
Digital print on suede fabric, upholstery foam, buttons, wood panels, dacron fibre, 25.50″ x 17.70″ x 2.70″

2nd  Prize

The Landscaper
15 MINUTES FAST (TX, USA), The Landscaper, 2022
Iron gall ink on linen paper/1893 vintage printed paper, 23.50″ x 38.75″

3rd Prize

Leyendecker's Boy
CHARLIE O’SHEA (CA, USA), Leyendecker’s Boy (after J.C. Leyendecker, Arrow Dress Shirt Ad, 1930), 2022
Gouache on black paper, 9.00″ x 12.00″

Multiple Figure

1st Prize

"Velázquez move over"
ŁUKASZ LEJA (NYC, USA), Velázquez Move Over, 2022
Oil on canvas, 20.00″ x 20.00″

2nd Prize

Eye of the Soapholder
DBR (UK), Eye of the Soapholder, 2022
Hand-cut paper collage, 7.25″ x 8.25″

3rd Prize

THOMAS PIERRE JEAN (France), After AMG, 2022
Cotton, mesh, and cords embroidery, 17.70″ x 17.70″


1st Prize

jock1 1
MATT PAGET (UK), Jock 1, 2020
Pen on paper, 8.00″ x 8.00″

2nd Prize

Face Yoga
RUIDAZE (NYC, USA), Face Yoga, 2018
Oil on paper, 9.00″ x 11.00″

3rd Prize

Apollos Dream
GLENN BARBEISCH (France), Apollo’s Dream, 2022
Portuguese pink marble mounted on fire patinated wood (shou sugi ban), 16.00″ x 11.00″ x 9.00″


1st Prize

Nes & Anto
SILVER & GELATIN (Germany), Nes & Anto, 2022
Photography, 60.00″ x 30.00″

2nd Prize

Sexual Angel
RAY (IL, USA), Sexual Angel, 2022
Print on photo paper, 17.00″ x 17.00″

3rd Prize

Marilyn and Venus

RICHARD STANLEY (CA, USA), Marilyn and Venus, 2019
Digital photograph, 22.00″ x 22.00″

Some submissions may have been disqualified if from professional erotic artists or if the models appeared to be underage.


The six internationally renowned creators who judged the 2022 competition:


Honey Dijon

Born and raised in Chicago, Honey Dijon grew up surrounded by House music, and the creative souls who started the global movement. After moving to New York to DJ, she worked her way up through the nightlife scene, eventually establishing residencies at Hiro and Battle Hymn, sometimes playing sets up to twelve hours long.

At the same time, the New York fashion crowd started to take note. Dijon’s ability to express herself through her art, fashion and music lead her to becoming one of the most sought-after hitmakers for runway shows, such as Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. Such ability to transcend both the music and fashion scenes made launching her fashion line Honey Fucking Dijon a natural progression of her talents.

Music, fashion, and art all collide in her interdisciplinary approach. Dijon splits her time between Berlin and New York City.


Mr Gruts Detail

Mr Gruts

The artist known only as Mr Gruts works as a figurative illustrator specializing in homoerotic, digital painting and comic illustration.

After completing his Bachelor of Fine Art in New Zealand, Mr Gruts didn't develop his illustrative ability until later. In 2020, Mr Gruts was the winner of both the Dean Cameron Multiple Figure Award and the Tom of Finland Grand Prize Award during the tenth Emerging Artist Competition held by Tom of Finland Foundation.

The Grand Prize was a valuable achievement to him, as he had never previously won a juried art prize. It also served to affirm Mr Gruts’ professional development. Since then, he regularly pushes himself to release steady artistic output to his growing audience. Mr Gruts is enjoying his newfound ability to support himself financial with the growth he has experienced since winning the Grand Prize.

A firm believer in the "sex is fun" mindset, Mr Gruts celebrates this mantra in his art by mixing narrative tonalities. He is also passionate about intersectional representation and is happy to see this gradually reflected in broader adoption in contemporary media.

Mr Gruts lives and works in his native New Zealand.


GLENN MARTENS by Oliver Hadlee Pearch 03

Glenn Martens

A native of Flemish Belgium, Glenn Martens graduated first in his class from The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. In 2008, during his final year, he was recruited work at Jean Paul Gaultier and G2. Martens later became first assistant to designer Yohan Serfaty, after which Martens worked independently with European brands such as Weekday (H&M) and Honest By Bruno Pieters.

By 2012, Martens launched his eponymous womenswear line during Paris Fashion Week, and since 2013, he has been the Creative Director of both womenswear and menswear for the Paris-based label Y/PROJECT.

In 2017, Martens was named to Business of Fashion’s 500 Index of people shaping the industry. He also received the ANDAM prize for his work with Y/PROJECT. In 2018, Martens partnered with DIESEL on the company’s Red Tag project, staging a fashion show on the streets of Paris that saw denim and leather transformed into draped button-down shirts and bootcut trousers.

Martens and Y/PROJECT received a special prize—the Family Fund Award—from ANDAM in 2020. That same year, Martens was named as Creative Director of DIESEL, while still at the helm of Y/PROJECT.


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Richard Meyer

Richard Meyer is the Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor in Art History at Stanford University, where he teaches courses in twentieth-century American art, censorship, and gender and sexuality studies.

He is the author of Master of the Two Left Feet: Morris Hirshfield Reconsidered (MIT Press 2022) to published with a retrospective of the artist opening at the American Folk Art Museum in September. His first book, Outlaw Representation: Censorship and Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century American Art (Oxford University Press 2002), was awarded the Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Outstanding Scholarship from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and is now in its third edition.

Subsequent books include What Was Contemporary Art? (MIT Press 2013), a study of the idea of “the contemporary” in American art, and Art and Queer Culture, a survey co-authored with artist Catherine Lord focusing on the dialogue between visual art and non-normative sexuality.

Slava Mogutin by Igor Vishnyakov 1

Slava Mogutin

Born in Siberia, Slava Mogutin is a New York based Russian-American multimedia artist and author exiled from Russia for his outspoken Queer writing and activism.

A third-generation writer and self-taught photographer, he became the first Russian to be granted political asylum in the US on the grounds of homophobic persecution. Informed by his bicultural dissident and refugee experience, Mogutin’s work examines the notions of displacement and identity, pride and shame, devotion and disaffection, love and hate.

Mogutin is the author of seven Russian-language books, three monographs of photography, Lost Boys (powerHouse Books, 2006), NYC Go-Go (powerHouse Books, 2008), and Bros & Brosephines (powerHouse Books, 2017), and two illustrated collections of poetry, Food Chain (ITNA Press, 2014) and Pictures & Words (Straight to Hell Editions, 2018).

Mogutin is the winner of the Andrei Bely Prize, the oldest independent literary prize awarded in Russia, and Tom of Finland Foundation’s 2018 Achievement Award for artistic achievement and personal accomplishment.


WhatsApp Image 2021 11 23 at 9.59.31 AM

Graham Steele

Graham Steele is the founder and principal of his eponymous art dealership, Graham Steele Inc., based in Los Angeles. Prior to 2020, Steele was partner and sales director at Hauser & Wirth, where he was tasked with establishing that firm’s new Los Angeles gallery in the Downtown Arts District.

Before moving to California, Steele spent over a decade in London, first at University College London where he attained his Master of Arts in the History of Art. He later joined Sotheby’s as a specialist before moving to White Cube as director, where he launched that gallery’s Hong Kong outpost.

Steele also works closely with a slate of artists, estates, and foundations in an advisory role. A prolific collector himself, Steele has a vested interest in Queer artists and Queer representation in art.


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A presentation of all the entries into the Tom of Finland 2022 Emerging Artist Competition can be seen here.

View the 2022 Entries

View All Past Competitions