18th August 2020, 10:56 pm
By F. Valentine Hooven III / Cernunnos / Hardcover / 296 pages / 8½ x 11¼” / 300 photographs and illustrations
Avant-garde, provocative, subversive and rebellious
– Tom of Finland stamped history with his recognizable artistic style.
A virtuoso of drawing, he fashioned the silhouette of a new Gay man
– strong, confident, joyful and assertive
– fully participating in the visibility and recognition of the nascent Homosexual movement.
With text authorized by the artist himself
a few months before his death, and
published in partnership with Tom of Finland Foundation,
this illustrated biography reveals a life of art, pleasure and liberation.
Tom of Finland (born Tuoko Laaksonen, 1920–1991), was an iconic and ground-breaking artist who rose to cult status in the international queer community and beyond for his work celebrating the male figure and masculinity during a time when being homosexual was taboo. Created in partnership with Tom of Finland Foundation, Tom of Finland: The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero is a beautifully detailed account full of never, or rarely seen, materials from his archive.
The text was completed just a few months before the death of the artist and he was interviewed at length for it—making this book the only fully approved biography of the legend responsible for creating the muscled, mustachioed gay archetype of the 1960s and ’70s. With a foreword by Jean Paul Gaultier, an extensive history, and provocative photos and illustrations, Tom of Finland: The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero brings to life the story of the icon whose erotic depictions of men influenced many artists, including Robert Mapplethorpe and Bruce Weber.
The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero contains a stunning 60 page portfolio where the reader discovers every technique and style from Tom’s nearly fifty year career. It has sections devoted to two impressive 2020 Tom of Finland exhibitions – Love and Liberation and The Darkroom, with introductory text from their curators, and nine images of works in the Reality & Fantasy exhibition in Japan.
PREVIEW THE BOOK
FOREWORD “What I remember of when I saw Tom’s drawings in the beginning is that maybe I was attracted because it was fashion. It was clothes, not fashion, I should say. Because in reality, I think he loved clothes. It is the beginning of fetishism. What is fetishism? It is clothes! It is how you… View Article
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth, Fotografiska in collaboration with Tom of Finland Foundation produced The Darkroom, an exciting study in artist Tom of Finland’s (born Touko Laaksonen, 1920 – 1991) life and work process. The exhibition, curated by Berndt Arell, travels from Stockholm to New York in time for Tom of… View Article
Works in the Reality & Fantasy exhibition seen in Tom of Finland: The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero Durk Dehner / President & Cofounder, Tom of Finland Foundation, Los Angeles, USA F. Valentine Hooven III / Author, The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero, Palm Springs, USA… View Article
The UK’s first public exhibition dedicated solely to gay cultural icon Tom of Finland on the centenary of his birth. Curated by Olivia Ahmad
Of course you do, and the House of Illustration exhibition catalogue in ABRAMS Books biography is the place to get it. 2020 was due to be, among other things, a year of celebrations to mark the centenary of Tom of Finland. 2020, as we know, had other ideas, and we had to close the… View Article
Tom of Finland (born Tuoko Laaksonen, 1920–1991), was an iconic and groundbreaking artist who rose to cult status in the international queer community and beyond for his work celebrating the male figure and masculinity during a time when being gay was taboo. “Although he never attended a march or waved a banner at a… View Article
Add some leather to your bookshelf Artist Tom of Finland (born Touko Laaksonen) rose to fame as one of the most significant erotic artists of the last century. He was prolific, having created almost 3,500 illustrations during his 40-year career, and his drawings of hyper-sexualized, masculine men became staples of gay culture. Tom died in… View Article
In full celebration of Tom of Finland’s 100th birthday, the work by F. Valentine Hooven III receives a new edition. In Tom’s creations, he instituted male archetypes, inspired by the people he meets: loggers, motorcycle policemen, sailors, businessmen, bikers, men dressed in leather. The most famous erotic representation of Tom from Finland is still the “Kake” today. By Aldric Warnet
BOOK REVIEW: ‘Tom of Finland’
“Biographer F. Valentine Hooven III has filled Tom of Finland with reproductions of Tom’s artwork from the 1940s through 1991, when he died. Nearly every bit of it is explicit in nature, drawn in typical over-the-top Tom of Finland style. But readers will find Hooven’s narrative to be just as interesting,” writes Terri Schlichenmeyer.
Sometimes, you can’t worry about other people’s thoughts. You can listen to them but you don’t have to hear them because there are days when making yourself happy supersedes any outside opinion, when you need to pay closer attention to you. As in the new biography “Tom of Finland” by F. Valentine Hooven III, sometimes… View Article
The story of how a former Finnish soldier turned advertising man named Touko Laaksonen with a self-taught gift for draftsmanship and a wild fantasy life went from penning gay pornography to instigating a cross-continental leather subculture to becoming a widely celebrated visual artist with a subversive and instantly recognizable visual aesthetic, is certainly one… View Article
18th August 2020
Tags: #TOMs100, Jean Paul Gaultier, Love and Liberation, The Darkroom, The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero, Valentine Hooven
Categorised in: Article, Durk on Tom