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.
— DNA (@DNAmagazine) September 4, 2020
— Dallas Voice (@DallasVoice) December 18, 2020
— Tom of Finland (@TomsFoundation) September 2, 2020
“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.
— Tom of Finland (@TomsFoundation) January 1, 2021
Published: 18th August 2020Tags: #TOMs100, Jean Paul Gaultier, Love and Liberation, The Darkroom, The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero, Valentine Hooven