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.

Logo Tom of Finland Store dazed and confused logo      


  1. This competition is for emerging artists only. An emerging artist is defined as an artist who has not commercially sold work that portrays sexuality.
  2. Submissions open 8th May 2022
  3. All submissions must be received by the closing date of 31st August 2022 at midnight PST.
  4. After submissions close, the judging process begins. Judges will make their scores and the results will be tabulated. All competitors will be notified of the final results when their entries are posted on our website,  AFTER the close of the 2022 Art & Culture Fair, with the winners being highlighted.
    The first, second and third place winners of the 11th Tom of Finland Emerging Artists Competition will be notified on 20th September 2022 and the awards are presented at the 2022 Art & Culture Fair being held 7th to 9th October 2022. A selection of previous submissions to the contest are currently on display online.
  5. The entry fee for a single work is $25, or 2 entries for $35. Entrants may submit the appropriate fee using the SUBMIT ENTRY FEE buttons found in the ENTER THE CONTEST section below.
    If you are paying under a different name and/or email account, please indicate the name you entered the competition in the note section.
  6. Artists may submit either one or two pieces maximum, but may not receive more than one award in any given category.
  7. Subject requirement for submissions is limited to the erotic, which may include heterosexual, homosexual, lesbian, pansexual male or female, surrealism, fetishism, fantasy, or any combination thereof. Non-erotic artwork, artwork depicting minors (under 18 years-of-age) or bestiality will be disqualified.
  8. We ask that all artists submit works that are original to themselves. If the submission is modeled (identical or to some degree) on the work of another artist, it must be indicted:
    MY ARTIST NAME Title (after Henri Matisse), 2005, Oil on canvas, 12″x14″
    So that the work can be judged accordingly.

Entries information:

Complete anonymity is guaranteed to any contestant requesting it. Any pseudonym chosen by the artist is acceptable (except for “Anonymous”).
Entry of work(s) to the Emerging Artist Competition constitutes permission to reproduce the work for the purpose of judging, advertising, and promoting the competition and Tom of Finland Foundation.
Winning works may be reproduced in media coverage of the competition and/or advertising of the Emerging Artist Competition and Tom of Finland Foundation. Work will not be sold or reproduced for any profit-making venues whatsoever without prior written approval of the artist.


The competition is open to all media. Submissions may include photography, drawings, paintings, mixed media, collage, sculpture, three dimension art, or digital renderings. (Final decision of category placements will be determined by the Foundation.)
(A) Single Figure, (B) Dual Figure, (C) Multiple Figure, (D) Fantasy, (E) Photography

When a work fits in more than one category, it may default to one with the least competition from the other entries.

Photography rules:

Please note that all photographs of any identifiable person(s) must include:

A signed model release and
A legible copy of valid I. D. proving model’s age to be 18+.

Photography not accompanied by model release(s) can not be considered.

Cropped photos are eligible. We do not accept digitally or otherwise enhanced or altered photos in the Photography Category. If it is determined that an artist has altered his or her photo, we reserve the right to move the photo to another of the four categories.

Minor adjustments, including spotting, dodging and burning, sharpening, contrast and slight color adjustment or the digital equivalents, are acceptable for the Photography Category.


Judges will make their decisions based, above all, on erotic content, taking into consideration all artistic criteria by which art is usually judged.
Sixteen categories of prizes will be awarded. There are three winners in each of the five categories, plus an overall Grand Prize Winner from all categories combined.
Only one prize category will be awarded to any individual artist.


Tom of Finland Grand Prize:

TOM OF FINLAND Untitled (Preparatory drawing)

TOM OF FINLAND Untitled (Preparatory drawing), c. 1975,
Graphite on paper, 11.63” x 08.25” (unframed)
© 1975 Tom of Finland Foundation

• The winner shall receive a Tom of Finland preparatory drawing
• The winner shall receive complimentary participation in a future Tom of Finland Art and Culture Festival
• The winner shall receive a Foundation membership at the Partner level
• Winners shall receive a book: TOM OF FINLAND: An Imaginary Sketchbook
• The winner shall receive an online solo presentation at Tom of Finland Store.
• Winners shall receive a Tom of Finland carbon neutral carrying bag
• Winners shall receive a Tom of Finland jigsaw puzzle

The Grand Prize winner receives the above prizes in lieu of the category prizes listed below

First Place Winners

In Each Category:

• Winners shall receive a fine art print by Tom of Finland of their choosing
• Winners shall receive a Foundation membership at the Kake level
• Winners shall receive a book: TOM OF FINLAND: An Imaginary Sketchbook
• Winners shall receive a Tom of Finland carbon neutral carrying bag
• Winners shall receive a Tom of Finland jigsaw puzzle

Second Place Winners

In Each Category:

• Winners shall receive a limited edition fine art print by Tom of Finland of their choosing
• Winners shall receive a Foundation membership at the Supporter level
• Winners shall receive a book: TOM OF FINLAND: An Imaginary Sketchbook
• Winners shall receive a Tom of Finland carbon neutral carrying bag
• Winners shall receive a Tom of Finland jigsaw puzzle

Third Place Winners

In Each Category:

• Winners shall receive a limited edition fine art print by Tom of Finland of their choosing
• Winners shall receive a Foundation membership at the Friend level
• Winners shall receive a book: TOM OF FINLAND: An Imaginary Sketchbook
• Winners shall receive a Tom of Finland carbon neutral carrying bag
• Winners shall receive a Tom of Finland jigsaw puzzle

Winners are responsible for their own transportation to Los Angeles.







The real prize awarded all participants of ToF EAC is the publicity, exposure and international recognition accorded them through the Foundation’s promotion of the Competition.

The winners are determined using a blind scoring process by a distinguished panel of judges who are selected from an international roster of individuals in the field of the arts.

Judges score each work on a scale of 1 to 10. Scores are tabulated and the works with highest point totals become the winners.


Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF) is proud to announce the 11th Tom of Finland Emerging Artist Competition, in the Foundation’s 38th year in operation (established 1984).

The six internationally renowned creators who will be judging this year’s 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.


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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.


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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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Submissions are now CLOSED for the 2022 Emerging Artist Competion