Talking Tom of Finland: A Live Birthday Q&A with Durk Dehner

FAD MAGAZINE Untitled from Sex on the Train 1974 © Tom of Finland Tom of Finland Foundation Permanent Collection
Untitled from Sex on the Train 1974 © Tom of Finland Tom of Finland Foundation Permanent Collection

On Friday 8th May 2020, Tom of Finland would have turned 100 years old… Join House of Illustration curator Olivia Ahmad at 6pm in a free 45-minute Zoom conversation with Durk Dehner, Co-Founder and President of the Tom of Finland Foundation in LA, to celebrate the 100th birthday of the legendary gay icon and homoerotic illustrator.

Ahmad and Dehner, who co-curated the UK’s first ever Tom of Finland solo show of original art, Tom of Finland: Love and Liberation – which sadly had to close its doors just two weeks after opening due to the coronavirus lockdown – will discuss Tom’s artistic versatility, political importance and enduring legacy.
There’ll also be a Q&A at the end with a chance to ask the experts your burning Tom of Finland-related questions.

Olivia Ahmad says:

“Tom of Finland transformed his original perception of male sexuality and desire into a vital art that spoke to suppressed queer communities around the world and revolutionised the image of gay men in popular culture. Tom rejected the discrimination and conservative conventions of his time to celebrate love, intimacy and pleasure, and it’s no surprise that his message continues to resonate. While this event is free, please consider making a donation to House of Illustration at this challenging time to enable us to continue championing and celebrating underrepresented artists like Tom of Finland.”

FAD MAGAZINE Untitled 1981 © Tom of Finland Tom of Finland Foundation Permanent Collection
Untitled 1981 © Tom of Finland Tom of Finland Foundation Permanent Collection

Book your free ticket:HERE

Tom of Finland: Love and Liberation at House of Illustration
On 6th March 2020, House of Illustration opened the UK’s first public solo show dedicated to gay cultural icon and prolific artist Tom of Finland (born Touko Laaksonen), in partnership with Tom of Finland Foundation and the Finnish Institute in London.
Tom of Finland: Love and Liberation displays 40 works on paper produced from the 1960s to the 1980s, both before and after homosexuality was decriminalised in much of Europe and the U.S. It also includes early drawings of men fighting that constituted the only legal way to show physical contact between men before decriminalisation, as well as illustrations from his iconic Kake comics and rare linocuts produced in very limited editions.
Many of these works, on loan from the Los Angeles-based Tom of Finland Foundation, are being exhibited to the public for the first time.
Tom of Finland: Love and Liberation will reopen to the public as soon as it is safe to do so.

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine Founder and co-publisher Art of Conversation and founder of the platform @worldoffad