Tom of Finland invented gay imagery

27th September 2020, 4:27 pm

TOM OF FINLAND, Untitled, 1973, Graphite on paper, 11.81” x 9.84”, © 1973-2020 Tom of Finland Foundation

Sailors, lumberjacks, policemen, cowboys, motorcyclists. 100 years after his birth, the artist who most influenced gay culture in the twentieth century.

In 1976 the unlikely happened: two fans, owners of a pornographic shop in Hamburg – the Revolt Press Bookstore – organize Tom’s first show. It is not pornography, now it is art. An exhibition in which not everything goes the right way but which is the beginning of a paradigm shift: the MoMA in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago and MOCA in Los Angeles. In 2015 the Artist Space of New York presented the survey exhibition Tom of Finland: The Pleasure of Play which was then repeated in Helsinki. In 2014 Finland released three special stamps featuring Tom’s artwork.

This year Tom of Finland would be one hundred years old, and to celebrate the event, Galerie Judin in Berlin opened the Made in Berlin exhibition precisely to pay homage to Tom of Finland.

Curator Shai Ohayon has found, after two years of research, a location that will host the artist’s first exhibition on Japanese soil.






“TOM OF FINLAND Made in Germany”

12th Sep 2020 – 19th Dec 2020 @ 11:00 am – 6:00 pm –       Tom’s first ever exhibition was in Hamburg in 1976 and he did many commissions for German clients. The gallery has  recreated this first show and devoted a publication to these seminal years. Through his iconic drawings, Tom of Finland almost single-handedly changed the way Gay men were perceived by society, and – […]

“Reality & Fantasy: The World of Tom of Finland”

20th Nov 2020 – 7th Dec 2020 @ All Day –         Presented by Finnish Institute Japan, Embassy of Finland in Japan, Tom of Finland Foundation, The Container, and Parco   Curated by Shai Ohayon The exhibition features a selection of 30 historical works, ranging from 1946 to 1989, covering the artist’s entire professional career, and highlighting both his artistic versatility and presenting […]

Exhibition History

Exhibition History Tom of Finland Selected Solo Exhibitions: Selected Group Exhibitions: Public Collections: Publications: Video, Film and Stage: Selected Solo Exhibitions: 2020 | Gallery X Reality & Fantasy: The World of Tom of Finland | Tokyo, Japan 2020 | Galerie Judin Tom of Finland: Made in Germany | Berlin, Germany 2020 | Fotografiska Tom of… View Article

Published: 27th September 2020

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