Turku’s famous faces

7th February 2022, 9:32 pm


Turku has produced some pretty fantastic people. We now put the spotlight on a few of the city’s most famous faces of the modern era.

It was 1924 and the sun was beating down in Paris. Almost 40 athletes were vying for Olympic glory in the individual cross-country event, but one by one, staggering and collapsing from the scorching heat and toxic fumes generated by a nearby power station, they dropped out of the race.

Only 15 runners ever managed to cross the finish line. The winner was almost 90 seconds in front of his nearest rival, leading some reporters to joke that he had time to shower, dress, and return as a spectator. So, who was this fast-moving frontrunner? Paavo Nurmi, of course. When it comes to famous Finns born and raised in Turku, there are few more legendary than Nurmi.

Paavo set the bar high, but Turku has continued to produce some pretty fantastic people (even if we do say so ourselves).

On paper

Tom of Finland by Patrick Sarfati, 1991

Tom of Finland is one of the most acclaimed Finns to ever put pencil to paper. He was born Touko Laaksonen in 1920. Life’s twists and turns took him to Helsinki and beyond, but we love to boast that he spent his childhood at Ristimäki in Kaarina, just a few kilometres from the centre of Turku.

Tom became renowned for his erotic drawings, filled with hypermasculine characters who were proud, powerful, and playful. He passed away in 1991, but his ground-breaking drawings continue to have a profound impact, promoting a message of strength, respect, and tolerance.

The nonprofit Tom of Finland Foundation honours Tom’s memory by spreading the word about the importance of erotic art. And his popularity has only skyrocketed in recent years; in fact, there has never been a more sought-after stamp set created by the Finnish postal service than those featuring Tom’s iconic images.

And the list goes on…







The Gayest stamp in the world

When Itella Posti, Finland’s national postal service, announced the release of seven new stamp sets early last week, there were the typical things one would expect to find on a stamp – summer cottages, bridges, garden scenes. Mixed in with the bunch, however, was quite possibly the gayest postage ever created (philatelist nerd friends, feel… View Article

About Tom of Finland

ABOUT TOM OF FINLAND The Life of the Artist Tom of Finland is the artist name of Finnish Touko Laaksonen (1920, Kaarina – 1991, Helsinki). He signed his erotic work “Tom”, and when his drawings were first published in 1957, the now world-famous “Tom of Finland” was born. “Touko Laaksonen” was kept for family and… View Article

Published: 7th February 2022

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