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Events & Exhibitions
Foundation Announcements
Art News
Chris Burden Dies at 69
His Light Sculpture at LACMA is Symbol of L.A.


When he had himself shot in the arm for a performance piece at a Santa Ana gallery, Chris Burden became fleetingly famous. But years later, when he created such outsized, imagination-charged works as "Urban Light," the ranks of vintage lampposts tightly arrayed outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, he left a longer-lasting legacy.


Burden, the protean Conceptual artist who rose from doing controversial performances in the 1970s to become one of the most compelling and widely admired sculptors of his generation, died Sunday at his home in Topanga Canyon. He was 69.


From an article by Christopher Knight in the Los Angeles Times 

Erotica Before Internet:
How Muscles Changed the World

Touko Laaksonen turned Tom of Finland into a global phenomena way before the internet, and at the same time, changed the world and gave gay men a new confident identity.


How did he do it and what are the lessons for current world changers, nonconformists and cultural idea makers?  

Durk Dehner (5m Video)



THE LAVENDER EFFECT® is a nonprofit project of Community Partners "Advancing the Future of LGBTQ Heritage and Culture!"


Durk Dehner grew up in Alberta, Canada, and attended fine arts programs at The Allied Arts Center in Calgary, Alberta, the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and The Vancouver School of Fine Arts. Dehner co-founded the Tom of Finland Foundation with Tom himself in 1984 to establish an archive for Tom's life history and work.

Henzel Studio Collaborations / Heritage
June 11 - August 14, 2015, Los Angeles, California

The exhibition will serve as the US debut of Henzel Studio's collaboration with Tom of Finland Foundation in the creation of a collection of 13 art rugs and 3 art pillows inspired by the unique environment and interior elements that make TOM House.


A hand knotted rug, entirely woven by hand over the course of five months, depicts one of Tom of Finland's most iconic works of a Leatherman wearing a cap. The drawing was made as a study for the visual identity of the gay leather bar TOM's Saloon, the only place Tom lent his name to. Made with comparable intricacy as the original drawing, it is free form and in select areas enhanced with silk to add shine and replicate the effect of polished leather.

Compelling and Accessible
Tom of Finland Posters

In this graphite drawing, originally published in Bob Mizer's Physique Pictorial in 1969, Tom of Finland presents us with two handsome men dressed in motorcycle garb, complete with their signature black boots.

The Posters are Athena Currey and Adrian Rosenfeld and have more than fifteen years of experience working with artists, curators and collectors. makes art accessible by publishing affordable, museum-quality prints that are only available for a short time.

 More near the bottom of the TOM's Bar page
David Hockney:
"Too many gay men just want to lead ordinary, boring lives."

David Hockney has complained in an interview that the bohemian way of life he enjoyed as a young artist has now "gone", replaced by a boring, suburban culture.

David Hockney, who at 77 remains Britain's greatest living artist, has complained that too many gay men have become 'boring' and 'conservative'. Hockney said in an interview that too many gay men were determined to lead 'ordinary' lives by entering into civil partnerships and having children through adoption or surrogate mothers.


From an article by Robert Mendick of the Telegraph

They Called It Filth:
It Became a Revolution

The Official Feature Film

Developed in co-operation with Tom of Finland Foundation. The film is an international co-production directed by the multiple award-winning Dome Karukoski.


In post-WW II Finland, homosexuals were officially classified as mentally ill, weak and feminine. They were beaten by police, thrown in jail like criminals and often sent to asylums for "treatment". In the middle of it all, one man was quietly fantasizing about a different world through the tip of an artist's pen. 

Tom of Finland:
Big in New York

It's been a long time coming, but the artist Tom of Finland - master of the bulge - is finally getting his first major survey. At Artists Space in NYC, the exhibition will include more than 140 drawings, rarely-seen watercolors from the 1940s, over 600 collages, and his early childhood drawings.


Tom of Finland: The Pleasure of Play is the first exhibition to analyze the historic role that his art has played in addressing and transgressing stereotypes of gender, sexuality, race, and class. 

Tom of Finland: The Pleasure of Play
Comes to NYC's Artists Space

Twenty-five years after his death, Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen, 1920-1991) will receive his first comprehensive survey at NYC's Artists Space. The exhibition will include more than 140 drawings, rarely seen gouaches from the 1940s, over 600 pages of collages, and his early childhood drawings.


Tom of Finland: The Pleasure of Play is being touted as the "first exhibition to examine, analyze and present the historic role that his art plays in addressing and transgressing stereotypes of gender, sexuality, race, class and power relations." Tom, of course, is the iconic gay Finnish artist whose work brought a machismo to the representation of gay men.

Kaarina's Tom of Finland Takes
A Trip to New York

This drawing owned by the City of Kaarina in Finland (Touko's hometown) will be in the Artists Space exhibition in New York in June. Kaarina bought this drawing in 1992 and it created a scandal!


It was the first Tom of Finland acquisition by a public entity. According to the Secretary of Cultural Affairs, Mikko Nortelan, the City proudly embraces the legacy of this great, internationally-know artist and awarded Tom of Finland Foundation their Medal of Honor last year.

Parting Glances
Celebrate Our History
 June 7, 2015

Most consider the NY Stonewall Riots of 1969 to be the birth of the LGBTQ civil rights movement. But there have been activists, artists and innovators in L.A. since the turn of the 20th century. These unsung pioneers paved the way for the Stonewall Riots and for us all.

Visiting the Surprising City Picked for

The Latvian capital is a surprising choice for the pan-European LGBT Pride celebration, but locals and organizers have high hopes that the positive impact will be long-lasting.

Latvia's first and only LGBT organization, Mozaika, was born out of homophobia. Its members have persevered and transformed Riga Pride into an annual event, one which now attracts thousands of participants. Though it still faces vocal opposition and repeated attempts to ban it, protester enthusiasm has dwindled to the extent that only a few hundred bothered counter-demonstrating in 2014.

July 24 - 26 | Helsinki, Finland

Three days of exciting parties and the Mr. Fetish Finland 2015 Competition.


Now, TOM's iconic visual language has been fused with Rufskin's sexy, masculine, futuristic and well crafted menswear in a collection that features Rufskin's signature ultra-sexual aesthetic together with designs inspired by the work of legendary artist.


Head designer Hubert Pouches wanted to pay homage to the groundbreaking artist while simultaneously introducing him to a new generation of devotees.


What better location to capture the brawny exclusive athletic apparel collection, than the hallowed grounds of the Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles - the em-body-ment of the dynamic collaboration?

Swedish Peace Group Trolls Russian Submarines
With Gay Defense System

Forget Britain's Trident, or Israel's Iron Dome - peace-loving Sweden has come up with a much more innovative, and inclusive, system of defense.


The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (SPAS) is to deal with encroaching Russian submarines in Swedish waters with a device emitting anti-homophobia Morse code.


The device - officially titled The Singing Sailor Underwater Defiance System, but nicknamed the "gay sailor" - is a "subsurface sonar system", which sends out the message: "This way if you are gay" in an attempt to deter apparently homophobic Russians.


From an article by Hannah Jane Parkinson in The Guardian.


The World of Tom of Finland
Strokes of Genius

"Everyone looks at Tom, especially artists, and realizes that he not only was a great artist but gave permission to so many other artists to push their Talent to the limit," says Sharp. "Before Tom, artists may have hesitated to put out their private fantasies to paper. All of a sudden..."
From an article by Charles Trevor for Gorgeous magazine.

Designed by
Tom of Finland

In 1978 Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland, designed the logo mascot for Tom's Saloon, a gay bar in Hamburg (which is still operating today). Almost four decades later the drawing finds a second life in this new rug by Swedish carpet maker Henzel Heritage. The aptly titled Tom of Finland rug took five months to weave and is made from a mix of Himalayan wool and silk.
From an article in PIN-UP.


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