Saturday, May 7, 2016

LEGEND OF A FINNISH ARTIST

 
Touko Valio Laaksonen was born May 8 1920, and tomorrow will be his birthday. He was best known by his pseudonym Tom of Finland, a Finnish artist notable for his stylized homoerotic fetish art and his influence on late twentieth century gay culture. He has been called the "most influential creator of gay pornographic images" by cultural historian Joseph W. Slade. Over the course of four decades, he produced some 3500 illustrations, mostly featuring men with exaggerated primary and secondary sex traits with tight or partially removed clothing.
He wasn’t afraid to overcome the prejudice and bigotry against his sexuality back then and instead replaced the fear with art. And God did he let it flow so beautifully with his Marlon Brando lookalike bikers. Touko was born on May 8th, 1920 in Kaarina, Finland, which is very close to Turku. His parents ran a school from their home so he was well-educated, one could say. I remember this funny story I read that one time his fifteen year old sister found one of his erotic drawings and ran away because she got aroused. And she would have every right. I'll be the first to admit when I was a wee gayling, the images had a profound effect. Not only did his drawings have incredible talent and technique to them, but they also were one factor to really wake up my libido, and give me many sexual fantasy's, but finally got me to search out my first encounter.  I would later be attracted to older men, and desiring some of these scenes, but that's another story!
 
He matured into an artist who created more than one masterwork, yet never had any formal art training. Schooled at the piano, self-taught with a pencil. The consummate Homosexual. Happy Birthday Touko!

16 comments:

  1. Great post! I only really started liking his art a couple years ago. It certainly lends itself to some scenarios.

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  2. What a great tribute to an incredible artist. I have many Tom of Finland reproduction works, that I find extremely awesome. I have works from the 60's and up.

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  3. HUGE fan of his works. It was amazing to see the detail he captured with just pencil. Great collection of his images here. But what were your fantasy's?????

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  4. Never knew his backstory, what an interesting post. Simple drawings yet soooo wonderfully detailed.

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  5. Truly a wonderful part of my journey growing up gay. Life has been so much more fun with the images that Tom of Finland and those he inspired. Great post.

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  6. Love his works, but imagine my surprise with the first five guys I dated weren't hung!

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  7. A genuine gay icon - a classic (and classy) artist. I think he died in 1991.

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  8. Happy Birthday Tom of Finland. I wonder how many gay men come out to seeing his work? It too had a profound effect on me as well. Images 5 and 6 were always two of my favorites. They also are what inspired me to work out.

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  9. Happy birthday Tom!
    I remember seeing your work for the first time and thinking, "Okay, yeah, that's me."
    Thanks for that!

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  10. looks like a typical weekend at the casa...

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  11. I've always adored his work. As ive become more familiar with his work through exhibits and books I've grown particularly fond of his earlier pieces. Raw, unpolished, emotional.
    Finland has actualy used his work on postal stamps and rightfully so for it is much more art than erotic.

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  12. Very erotic post. Reminds me of Weho at night!

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  13. Finland put out a series of stamps a couple of years ago to honour Tom and his art. Have you seen those? Nothing explicit, of course, but still. Finland is proud of its native son!

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  14. When I start to look at his art, I find I spend a hour or two looking at it...which leads to other things.

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  15. I have a series of postcards with some of these images, I one day want to frame and hang them.

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  16. To be the cop in the sixth picture....his works were incredible.

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Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!

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