The Iconic Gay Art of Tom of Finland
03 november 2021 
16 min. read

The Iconic Gay Art of Tom of Finland

Admired by important gay artists like Robert Mapplethorpe, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, John Waters and David Hockney, Touko Laaksonen, better known under the pseudonym Tom of Finland (1920-1991), is without a doubt one of the most influential figures in 20th-century homoerotic art. Over a career span of almost fifty years, he created thousands of images beginning in the 1940s,

Touko Valio Laaksonen aka. Tom of FinlandFig.1. Touko Laaksonen aka. Tom of Finland.

Exaggerated Male Sexuality

Tom of Finland improvised, in simple and explicit line-drawings, a fantasy-world of uncomplicated and exaggerated male sexuality. Moving over wide areas of gay sexual possibility his protagonists, none the less, have - and this is his brilliance and his shortcoming - a fantasist's monomaniacal similarity.

tom of finland policemanFig.2

Packed Protruding Asses

He produced a whole type of men, square-jawed, thick-lipped with powerfully muscular bodies, packed protruding asses and huge cocks. In a typical sexual scuffle drawn by him it may be only the color of hair of the participants, or the fact that one of them manages somehow to keep on his peaked leather cap, that distinguishes them from each other.

sketch tom of finlandFig.3. Sketch by Tom of Finland

George Quaintance

That and the fact that Tom of Finland, in the early 1960s, was always rendering explicit the sexuality of certain male stereotypes - lumberjacks, cowboys, hitch-hikers on the one hand, who had already been the province of more conventional gay artists like George Quaintance (Fig. ), and on the other those distinguished by uniforms: police, sailors, soldiers, railway-guards.

george quaintance gay artFig. 4.  Painting by George Quaintance (1902-1957)

Elemental Masculinity

In a sense all his stereotypes were the same; in a world of elemental masculinity they blend with each other in a mood of almost childish satisfaction, authorized by unchanging opportunity. Yet prophetically he created a way of life which the real gay world, more or less independently, would follow, with its tendency to homogenize personality by a cult of virile images, its sex-bars and clubs, its fascination with role-playing, uniform and theatrical postures of sexual power. Here, in his visions of the leather-scene  and SM sex, a habit of mind was identified which became real on the West Side piers in the early 1970s.

gay erotic art Tom of FinlandFig.5.

sailor and cop Tom of FinlandFig.6sailor penises Tom of FinlandFig.7.

interracial gay Tom of FinlandFig.8.

horny sailor Tom of FinlandFig.9.

cops and sailor Tom of FinlandFig.10.

gay sailor Tom of FinlandFig.11.

horny cop and sailor Tom of FinlandFig.12.

the gay art of Tom of FinlandFig.13.

gay prison Tom of FinlandFig.14.

gay laborers Tom of FinlandFig.15.

Tom of Finland Fellatio GayFig.16.

gay policeman tom of finlandFig.17.

gay fellatio art Tom of FinlandFig.18.

Touko Laaksonen gay artFig.19.

Fig.20.

Click HERE for an earlier post on the violent gay art of Goh Mishima....!!!

More about Tom of Finland on the site TomofFinland.org which is completely dedicated to the artist....!!

Source: Robert Mapplethorpe, 1970-1983 by Sandy Nairne a.o

Let us know your thoughts on Tom of Finland's art in the comment box below....!!

About the author
Marijn is the founder of shungagallery.com. With more than 20 years of experience within the sensual and erotic art of shunga he is an authority in the genre. During this time he served many customers with complementing their art collection.
Abdull F.
By

Abdull F.

on 03 Nov 2021

Good job!

Marijn Kruijff
By

Marijn Kruijff

on 03 Nov 2021

Thanks Abdull!

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