What people have written about Tom for his birthday

5th May 2020, 11:44 pm




This May 8 marks not only the victory of the allies over the Nazis. It is also the 100th anniversary of the birth of the famous Finnish erotic designer, Tom of Finland. TÊTU pays tribute to him by publishing an interview with Durk Dehner, ex-lover and president of the foundation dedicated to the artist.












El sexo indomable de Tom Of Finland


El sexo indomable de Tom Of Finland


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. He is known for his homoerotic art and for his influence on modern day culture. This year is the 100 anniversary of Tom’s birthday. On this page we are listing different events and exhibitions in Finland and abroad that are celebrating and honoring the work of this artist.

Buon compleanno Tom of Finland

100 years of Tom of Finland and his stunning, sexy men


Tom of Finland and IDAHOTB both continue to contribute to pride and acceptance


Tom’s artwork continues to have an impact

  On 8th May, Tom of Finland (born Touko Laaksonen), would have turned 100. While he’s no longer around to celebrate, his artwork continues to have an impact on the LGBTIQ community the world over. “On 8th May we encourage all to make something beautiful and share it – bake a cake, open a bottle… View Article


Wallpaper* Tom of Finland at 100: the icon who raised the homoerotic to high art BY RICHARD MEYER, PRODUCER: MICHAEL REYNOLDS | PHOTOGRAPHY: JACK PIERSON READ


People use the term iconic a lot but there are a few figures who truly embody it

  Tom of Finland, the artist born Touko Laaksonen, is certainly one. Over the span of his career he created works that influenced not only generations of queer artists that would follow him, but also popular culture. His work, in part, helped to set the visual blueprint for the leather community which still reveres him… View Article

In October at Kaarina house there will be a 100 years celebration concert with a program that includes also songs of the Tom of Finland musical. An evening club will be held after it.





TOM CHO: Happy 100th to one of my artist heroes Tom of Finland (and happy 46 to me. Yes, Tom and I share the same birthday—apt for many reasons). Tom of Finland created artworks in response to AIDS and no doubt if he were alive and practising his art today he would have been drawing in response to COVID-19. On that note, I’ve lately been thinking about some of the voyeurism in his works—queer sex, practised at a physical distance. He was a master of animating the desiring queer gaze: his gaze, that of his protagonists, and ours. FACEBOOK


Tom of Finland fyller hundra – ”Han lyckades skapa en visuell värld som väcker beundran ännu i dag”

Tom of Finland’s 100th Birthday

Cult film producer Jon Waters has this to say about Tom’s art

“I was a young man living in Baltimore in the late 1950’s. Tom of Finland invented an impossible-to-live-up-to gay male look that defied stereotypical queerness. This was before I ever realised there was such a thing. I wanted to meet the men depicted in his drawings but struggled at the time. The only people that I saw in Baltimore that looked that butch were lesbians. He’s still a god to me, a great artist, one of the founders of filth, a spiritual leader from the gutter. If you ever want sex today, just pray to him and it will happen.”

Memories of Kake and Tom from gay fashion icon Jean Paul Gautlier

“Back in the beginning of the ’70s, I saw some drawings in Kake. It was one of those little stories that were quite funny. I just saw it and thought: “Oh my god! What is that?” This super impressed and shocked me in a very good way. After that I just wanted more and more and more. The men were shown as sexy, beautiful and gentle, and almost feminine, refined, etc. It was that type of men you have to love. So it’s Tom’s drawings that show that you can be attracted to sexy men.”

MEN’s anthology series based on the classic works of Tom of Finland, director Bruce LaBruce

“Tom of Finland’s drawings have always intrigued me and turned me on as a kind of burlesque of gay male sexuality. It’s a performative masculinity that also happens to be extremely hot. There is much joy in the representation, as well as an underlying current of humor and irony.”



Today is Tom of Finland’s 100th birthday! I have a long, rich history with Tom and the Tom of Finland Foundation. Where should I begin? I guess at the beginning… READ


Recon This week marks Tom of Finland’s Centennial FETISH FOCUS: TOM OF FINLAND READ


A Time Capsule of Queer LA: Tom of Finland and Circus of Books PODCAST

  This week we bring you two tales of lore from the olden days of Queer LA. First, Kate, Daya, and Eric are joined by Sharp and Durk Dehner from the Tom of Finland Foundation to tell the story of the legendary gay artist Tom of Finland, who immigrated to Los Angeles, on the occasion… View Article

Tom of Finland defied homophobic censorship. He affirmed and glamourised our sexuality; giving hope and confidence to gay men at a time when many had internalised homophobia and sexual guilt. His imagery turned upside down the stereotype that we were weak and disgusting. It portrayed gay men as strong and desirable, which was refreshing and empowering. What Tom of Finland gave us was an antidote to the negative, demeaning heterosexual supremacist representations of homosexuality. Peter Tatchell, LGBT+ human rights campaigner.


Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell: ”Tom of Finland gave us an antidote” READ


Fashion expert Shaun Cole: “You find lots of references to Tom of Finland in gay culture” READ


Antti Kauppinen from Tom of Finland Society: “Vanilla patriarchy has squeezed the edge out of Tom of Finland” READ


Curator Olivia Ahmad: “There was a hunger to see Tom of Finland’s work in the UK” READ


Talking Tom of Finland: A Live Birthday Q&A with Durk Dehner

An impressive display of works

Finland’s love of London is interwoven throughout – the artist was integral to the leather scene that blossomed to the city throughout the 1960s and wanted to relocate to the city and rename himself Tom of London but feared invasive UK postal services. Finland’s dedication to spotlighting interracial homosexual relationships, seen within the exhibition, was… View Article

Love and liberation

Derek wears jumpsuit Marcell von Berlin | Glenn + Marc wear full look Model’s own     Derek wears jacket Golden Goose top Hanes jeans Ih Nom Uh Nit trainers Golden Goose necklace Dalmata | L. Marvel wears Tom’s Leather Jockstrap by Tom of Finland Pleasure Tools | R. Zario Jockstrap by CDLP X Tom… View Article

“Attitude” marks Tom of Finland’s 100th Birthday with special “Sex & Sexuality” issue

To mark the historic occasion #TOMs100, we’re releasing a special commemorative edition of our upcoming “Sex & Sexuality” issue – out Thursday 23rd April – featuring the artist’s famously homoerotic work. Tom of Finland (birth name Touko Laaksonen), was born in the small south-western town of Kaarina, Finland, on 8th May 1920. His work was… View Article

Tom of Finland lived here

Durk Dehner, founder of Tom of Finland Foundation, was a close friend, beloved, co-worker, manager and sparring member of Tom (born Touko Laaksonen). He has made his life’s work to maintain and protect the art of Tom of Finland. In this upstairs bedroom, Tom slept and drew. Tom’s life in Los Angeles in the 1980s… View Article

Tom thanks you!

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Tom of Finland Foundation (@tomoffinlandfoundation)  


Published: 5th May 2020

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