Freehand drawing. Tom of Finland in bookstores. “An Imaginary Sketchbook”

16th August 2022, 4:57 pm


TOM OF FINLAND, Untitled (Preparatory drawing), 1977 Graphite on paper 30.5 × 20.3 cm


Tom of Finland is out in bookstores. “An Imaginary Sketchbook” edited by Juerg Judin and Pay Matthis Karstens


The book brings together a cross-section of freehand drawings and sketches of the characters (just sketched or defined in more detail) that populate the world of Tom of Finland, a great Finnish illustrator and one of the most influential and celebrated figures of 20th century Gay culture.

Through his iconic images, he changed how gay men were perceived by society and, perhaps more importantly, how gay men perceived themselves. The large amount of works that the artist has produced over a career of almost six decades is devoted almost entirely to this theme: men, their bodies and their spirits.

This extraordinary consistency of subject was accompanied by an uninterrupted passion for the supreme discipline of freehand drawing. All he needed to create a universe of incredibly handsome men was a pencil and a sheet of paper.

Tom’s world is populated by cowboys, mechanics, cops, punks, thugs and all indulging their wishes with great camaraderie and without guilt or prejudice. An original fictional sketchbook that offers the reader an intimate glimpse into the artist’s work and his exuberant joie de vivre.







Touko & Tom | 28th January | Berlin

Loves and Lives Tom of Finland is a Gay icon. His drawings of well-built men in rugged attire, and depictions of man-to-man lust, shaped a strong image of Gay identity. He drew males having sex without shame, proud and full of confidence. Tom of Finland is the artist name of Finnish Touko Laaksonen (1920, Kaarina… View Article
Behind 500

Published: 16th August 2022

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