11-07-1991

Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen)

The Finnish born fetish artist TOM OF FINLAND died on this date (b. 1920)   Born Touko Laaksonen in Kaarina, Finland he was notable for his stylized homoerotic art and his influence on late twentieth century Gay culture. Over the course of four decades he produced some 3500 illustrations, mostly featuring men with exaggerated primary and secondary sex traits: heavily muscled torsos, limbs, buttocks and improbably large penises.

Tight or partially removed clothing showed off these traits, with penises often visible as distinct bulges in tight trousers or prominently displayed for the viewer. His drawings frequently feature two or more men either immediately preceding or during explicit sexual activity.

In 2014 Finland began selling stamps that feature the “confident and proud homoeroticism” of Tom of Finland. A feature film, Tom of Finland, is a critically acclaimed film from well-regarded Finnish director Dome Karukoski about the life and work of Touko Laaksonen. The film was released in October of 2017 at the Tribeca Film festival and was, not surprisingly, also in high demand among LGBTQ U.S. festivals. A good Netflix choice.