Iconography

“I consider my work pornography. Pornography means to stimulate people’s sexual feelings, and I’m always very aware of that. My motive is lower than art.”

– Tom of Finland

Those historically obsessive folks from Taschen have culled together a ginormous compendium of seam-bustin’ Tom Of Finland art, replete with offerings from all of Tom’s creative eras: the lumberjacks of the 1950s, the biker-look of the ’60s, the clone-look of the ’70s and the fetishists of the ’80s.

And in the spirit of Tom’s men, this book is big – 131/2″ by 101/2″ and weighing more than seven pounds.

Of particular interest are lovely colour panels of lesser-known works from the 1940s, made prior to Tom’s big US breakthrough in 1957 (when one of his jumberjacks made it to the cover of Physique Pictorial.The moniker Tom Of Finland is said to be publisher Bob Mizer’s invention).

More cartoony and with word bubbles (in Finnish), these earlier drawings display the dynamism and youthful honesty evident throughout his five decades of work.

Tom Of Finland: The Art Of Pleasure.

Taschen.

352 pages. $69.69.

The contributor photo for Gordon Bowness

Gordon Bowness (he/him) is the executive editor of Xtra. With a 30-year career covering the LGBTQ2S+ community, Gordon is also the founding editor of Go Big magazine and In Toronto (now In Magazine). He is an English speaker and lives in Toronto.

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