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Tom of Finland

Updated on January 24, 2015

Everyone should be true to themselves!

Twelve years ago I was working at the Finnish Cultural Institute in Paris. The first exhibition I was in charge of featured Tom of Finland.

Tom of Finland must be the most influential Finnish Artist ever. His drawings of charming bikers with their leather caps and jackets have been said to influence even the looks of young Marlon Brando.

Apart from being very important gay icon, the art of Tom of Finland, in my opinion, carries also a much broader message. Through being true to oneself and through respecting the others around you for what they are, through equality and consideration one can make life a pleasurable journey!

In 2009 Tom of Finland was representing Finland within the Venice Biennale Nordic Pavillion.

Tom of Finland David a beauty, 1989
Tom of Finland David a beauty, 1989

Tom of Finland on Taide & Design magazine

excerpt from the article:

"Touko Laaksonen, a.k.a. Tom of Finland (1920–1991), was my partner, friend, confidant and major life inspiration. Knowing Tom and what moved him in creating such beautiful renderings of his male friends can be found in whom he drew and how they were portrayed. You could never be sure where you would show up in a drawing! The cool part of it simply was that you would show up and perhaps in one of the artist’s most striking works of the time."

Durk Dehner, Co-Founder and President, Tom of Finland Foundation

Tom of Finland at the 53rd Venice Biennale

Hector Silva Art at The Tom of Finland Art Exhibit

Tom of Finland: Daddy and the Muscle Academy

a film by Ilppo Pohjola

Daddy and the Muscle Academy is a documentary by Finnish director Ilppo Pohjola, released in 1992, about life and surroundings of Tom of Finland. It has been praised to be "just as sexy as Tom's work".

I have this film in my collection and would recommend it to anybody either interested in Tom's art or his life!

Starring: Tom of Finland

Director: Ilppo Pohjola

The Complete Kake Comics

Touko Laaksonen becoming Tom of Finland

Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen 1920-1991) started drawing cartoons at age five. His favorite subjects were the rough manly men of his native Finland. Touko knew from an early age that men interested him more than women. He studied art in Helsinki briefly and went to work in advertising.

Touko nonetheless secretly continued creating his increasingly erotic drawings of hyper-masculine men. In 1957 he submitted some drawings to the American magazine Physique Pictorial and the "Tom of Finland" legend was born.

The Complete Kake Comics contains all 26 episodes of the Kake serial.

Tom of Finland: His Life and Times

This account by F. Valentine Hooven III was my first introduction to Tom.

It is a free flowing biography of Tom's journey of becoming a world renowned artist, his cultural background and passions.

If you didn't know Tom of Finland already, I would warmly recommend you starting with this one.

If you enjoyed this lens, you can add it to your favourites

Why not make a lens yourself? It's easy start here

Tom of Finland livre d'Or - leave a note!

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    • profile image


      8 years ago


    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 

      9 years ago from Corona, CA

      Very interesting lens. Glad I stopped by.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 

      9 years ago from New York City

      Original. Great!

    • Hairdresser007 profile image

      James Jordan 

      9 years ago from Burbank, CA

      I LOVE Tom of Finland!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      quality lens! i just came back from Finland... and i like this lens!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Tom of Finland is The Master. He illustrates to perfection Heaven, the civitas Dei.


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