When they left the airport, Durk Dehner and three other leather-clad motorcycle men pulled in front of the car carrying Tom and formed an escort. Like magic, the road opened for them all the way into New York.
The site of the New York exhibit was just as humble as that of Tom’s first ill-fated exhibit in Hamburg: another little room in the back of a little shop. This one, called Stompers, sold new and used boots in the heart of Greenwich Village. But the exhibition’s visitors’ list was studded with the names of celebrities.
Tom’s first trip to New York, in 1978, had been engineered by Durk. Like its arranger, it had been wild, erotic, and nonstop fun.
Durk had arranged this third American show, a joint exhibit for Tom in conjunction with Etienne (whose birth name was Dominic Orejudos). Etienne appears in the photo above, center right. Tom also met Louis Weingarten, the gallery owner of Stompers, pictured in the photo above as well, left. The visitors’ list contained names such as Gore Vidal, Halston, and Andy Warhol (who owned several Tom of Finland originals).
Published: 7th September 2021Tags: #TomOfFinland101, 101 Quiz, The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero