On September 1, Tom of Finland: The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero was released. Created in partnership with Tom of Finland Foundation, the book is a beautifully detailed account full of never, or rarely seen, materials from the archive of the iconic and ground-breaking artist.
Tom of Finland, born Tuoko Laaksonen (1920–1991), was an iconic and ground-breaking artist who rose to cult status in the international queer community and beyond for his work celebrating the male figure and masculinity during a time when being homosexual was taboo. The text was completed just a few months before the death of the artist and he was interviewed at length for it—making this book the only fully approved biography of the legend responsible for creating the muscled, mustachioed gay archetype of the 1960s and ’70s.
With a foreword by Jean Paul Gaultier, an extensive history, and provocative photos and illustrations, Tom of Finland: The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero brings to life the story of the icon whose erotic depictions of men influenced many artists, including Robert Mapplethorpe and Bruce Weber.
Freelance writer, illustrator and Philadelphia native F. Valentine Hooven III — who now lives in West Hollywood — spent the years leading up to Tom of Finland’s death writing his biography. The account traces the evolution and impact of his art on the world, and his significance in the queer community.
To purchase the book, visit the Tom of Finland store online.