A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING
January 28 - April 15 and May 6, 2017
Salon Dahlmann and Galerie Judin present Touko Laaksonen:
The Man Behind Tom of Finland
Photo: JACK SHEAR
Loves and Lives
January 28 - May 6, 2017
Opening: Saturday, January 28, 2017, 6 - 9 pm
Tom of Finland is a Gay icon. His drawings of well-built men in rugged attire, and depictions of man-to-man lust, shaped a strong image of Gay identity. He drew males having sex without shame, proud and full of confidence.
Tom of Finland is the artist name of Finnish Touko Laaksonen (1920, Kaarina – 1991, Helsinki). He signed his erotic work “Tom” and when his drawings were first published in 1957, now world-famous “Tom of Finland” was born. “Touko Laaksonen” was kept for family and colleagues; both friends and fans have always called him simply “Tom”.
Feeling at Home: In the Body, The Family and The Society
March 2, 2017
Finland celebrates 2017, its 100th anniversary. At the core of those celebrations is the homeland and linked to it the notion of home. In this discussion, the panelists look into the question what “home” means to different people in different contexts. The focus is on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people and their experiences in relation to their bodies, their families and their homelands: Are they able or allowed to feel at home in those sites?
The panelists will scrutinize in particular the life and work of Touko Laaksonen, the man behind Tom of Finland, who is known for his homoerotic fetish art and his influence on late twentieth century gay culture. How was Touko Laaksonen’s relationship to his homeland Finland? What experiences did Tom of Finland have with his family? And how did his art works impact definitions of masculinity and the body?
Moderator: Dr. Laura Hirvi, The Finnish Institute in Germany
Panelists: Pekka Strang (Actor, Tom of Finland movie) Susanna Luoto (Curator, Tom of Finland Foundation) Dr. Klaus Mueller, Salzburg Global LGBT Forum Prof. Anu Koivunen, University of Stockholm
The discussion is organized as part of the Tom of Finland exhibition in Salon Dahlmann and as part of the #MobileHome2017 project at the Finnish Institute in Berlin in collaboration with Homotopia and the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum.
Pekka Strang, Susanna Luoto, Klaus Mueller, Anu Koivunen, Laura Hirvi.
You are invited to a guided viewing of:
Touko Laaksonen – The Man Behind Tom of Finland:
Loves and Lives March 4, 2017
Venue: Salon Dahlmann January 28 - May 6, 2017
Hours: Saturdays 11am – 4pm and with appointment 3 Marburger Straße 3, 10789 Berlin Germany · Map
Telephone: +49 30 21 90 98 50
Salon Dahlmann Website
January 28 - April 15, 2017
Opening: Saturday, January 28, 2017, 4 - 6 pm
If we can agree upon the definition, that a great artist must be radical in the terms of his own time and has the power to change the way we see the world, then Tom of Finland undoubtedly counts among the great and truly influential artists of the second half of the 20th century. He managed to gain a huge international following outside the usual precincts of museums and galleries. Through his iconic images he almost singled-handedly changed the way Gay men were perceived by society, and – maybe even more important – how gay men perceived themselves.
All he needed to create a universe of dazzlingly gorgeous hunks was a pencil and a sheet of paper. And he probably drew every day of his life. Drawing was an excercise for his restless imagination and desire.
Touko Laaksonen: Tom of Finland
Tom’s world was populated by cowboys, mechanics, cops, punks and thugs – all indulging their desires with great camaraderie and without quilt or prejudice. This book assembles a cross-section of these characters as dreamt up by Tom in rough sketches or more carefully executed studies. The format of a sketchbook lets the viewer take an intimate glance over the artist’s shoulder and share in his exuberant joie de vivre.
“In those days, a gay man was made to feel nothing but shame
about his feelings and his sexuality. I wanted my drawings to counteract
that, to show gay men being happy and positive about who they were.
Oh, I didn’t sit down to think this all out carefully. But I
knew — right from the start — that my men were going to
be proud and happy men!" —
Tom of Finland