Keep Your Timber Limber

25th July 2013, 9:44 pm

The drawings of Touko Laaksonen, aka Tom of Finland, played an important role in popularizing Gay culture.

TOM OF FINLAND, Untitled, 1959, Graphite on paper, 11.00” x 8.50”, Tom of Finland Foundation Permanent Collection #59.04, © 1959 Tom of Finland Foundation

TOM OF FINLAND, Untitled, 1959, Graphite on paper, 11.00” x 8.50”, Tom of Finland Foundation Permanent Collection #59.04, © 1959 Tom of Finland Foundation

His depictions of Homosexual encounters are jolly, humorous and carefree and that’s precisely what made them revolutionary. Before him, Homosexuals were represented as sad, pervert, dirty and clandestine men. Tom of Finland clad them into police or sailor uniforms, leather outfits and lumberjack attires – that would later be seen on the members of the disco group Village People – and let them frolic in woods and changing rooms.

By Regine

 Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper) is at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, until September 8 2013.

Published: 25th July 2013

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