Tom of Finland

Finnish, 1920-1991

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Tom of Finland

Finnish, 1920-1991

523
Followers
Biography

When looking at Tom of Finland’s meticulously rendered portraits of muscular men, it may not come as a surprise that he grew up in the countryside surrounded by tough frontiersmen. Though his schoolteacher parents raised him in a world of art, literature, and music, Tom never lost his fascination with the burly masculinity of working-class men, which expanded to include sailors, policemen, and military officers when he left his small town to study art in Helsinki in 1939. In World War II, Tom was drafted into the army and reveled in the attendant uniforms and leather boots. He applied his love of machismo with his natural artistic talent to create homoerotic drawings that celebrate the idealized male form.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 1 more
Biography

When looking at Tom of Finland’s meticulously rendered portraits of muscular men, it may not come as a surprise that he grew up in the countryside surrounded by tough frontiersmen. Though his schoolteacher parents raised him in a world of art, literature, and music, Tom never lost his fascination with the burly masculinity of working-class men, which expanded to include sailors, policemen, and military officers when he left his small town to study art in Helsinki in 1939. In World War II, Tom was drafted into the army and reveled in the attendant uniforms and leather boots. He applied his love of machismo with his natural artistic talent to create homoerotic drawings that celebrate the idealized male form.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 1 more
Articles Featuring Tom of Finland
Inside the “Phallus Palace,” Charles Leslie’s Trove of Queer Art
Dec 13th, 2018
How Tom of Finland Pioneered the Expression of Gay Desire in Art
Apr 12th, 2018
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