TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Tom of Finland Exhibit in Miami Beach

Published Date Author: , April 5th, 2012
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Tom of Finland
TOM OF FINLAND ©Tom of Finland Foundation, Los Angeles

TOM OF FINLAND ©Tom of Finland Foundation, Los Angeles

MIAMI BEACH—Tom of Finland, born Touko Laaksonen in Kaarina, Finland, who came to be known throughout the international art world for his extraordinary homoerotic drawings depicting men at ease and equally at play, will be the subject of a major exhibit, TOM OF FINLAND: Male Masterworks, opening Saturday, April 14, at 8 P.M. through July 31st at Naomi Wilzig’s World Erotic Art Museum.

Art collector Volker Morlock, who has been involved with the Tom of Finland Foundation since 1991, editor of the anthology, “Tom of Finland Retrospective III,” and consultant for Taschen Publishing on the books “Quaintance” and “Tom of Finland XXL,” will be special guest speaker at the opening night reception. Morlock has curated the exhibit’s original artwork which illustrates the development of Finland’s techniques and the breadth of his subject matter through five decades of his prolific work.

Tom of Finland

TOM OF FINLAND ©Tom of Finland Foundation, Los Angeles

Opening on the weekend of Miami Beach Gay Pride, the exhibit focuses on artwork that greatly influenced gay culture by challenging oppressive stereotypes. By depicting masculine men enjoying their sexuality free of shame, Tom of Finland has had an important effect on global culture, in fact, he has been noted as one of the five most influential artists of the last century.

Raised in a farm country that was still rough and wild, Finland who came from a family of school teachers and studied art in Helsinki, was drawn to the muscular frontiersmen who became the inspiration for his drawings.

Tom of Finland

TOM OF FINLAND ©Tom of Finland Foundation, Los Angeles

It was following his release from the army after World War II that Touko was urged by advertising colleagues to submit his drawings to the American body building magazine, Physique Pictorial. The 1957 cover story of a laughing lumberjack became a sensation establishing his name as “Tom of Finland.”

With his work generating invitations to exhibit in museums and galleries worldwide, in 1984, Finland and friend Durk Dehner founded Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF), lender of drawings and paintings which will also be on view.

TOM OF FINLAND ©Tom of Finland Foundation, Los Angeles

Today, following major exhibitions throughout the world, for sheer homoeroticism, the finely detailed body of work of Tom of Finland for which he became famous, will never be surpassed.

The World Erotic Art Museum is located at 1205 Washington Avenue. Open Monday thru Thursday, 11 A.M.-10 P.M.; Friday and Saturday, 11 A.M. to Midnight. Tickets are $15, no one under18 admitted. Further information is available by calling 305-532-9336; or via www.weam.com.

Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

Donald and RayTRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married). Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

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