Touko “Tom of Finland” Laaksonen

Touko “Tom of Finland” Laaksonen

Birth
Kaarina, Kaarina Municipality, Finland Proper, Finland
Death 7 Nov 1991 (aged 71)
Helsinki, Helsinki Municipality, Uusimaa, Finland
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 81412286 · View Source
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Artist. Known for his iconic, stylized homoerotic art depicting images of heightened masculinity and exaggerated features, and for its influence on twentieth-century gay culture, helping to change the stereotype of gay men as being effeminate. For more than forty years he produced over three thousand illustrations. Born and raised by a middle-class family in Kaarina, a city in southwestern Finland, near the city of Turku. He studied in Turku and in 1939 moved to the country's capital, Helsinki, to study advertising. He was drafted in February 1940 into the Finnish Army and served as an anti-aircraft officer, achieving the rank of second lieutenant. In 1973, he gave up his full-time job at the Helsinki office of McCann-Erickson (an international advertising firm) to pursue drawing. His work was first published in 1957 by Bob Mizer's "Physique Pictorial" using the pseudonym Tom. One of his most famous series is the "Kake" comics. He was the subject of the 2002 documentary "Daddy and the Muscle Academy: Tom of Finland." In the 1970s, clothes designer Vivienne Westwood used his art for T-shirts that were featured at SEX, the store run by Westwood and partner Malcolm McLaren (manager of the Sex Pistols). The shirts were modeled by bassist Sid Vicious and became an iconic feature of punk mythos. New York's Museum of Modern Art has acquired his work for its permanent collection.


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  • Created by: Bruce Carle
  • Added: 2 Dec 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 81412286
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Touko “Tom of Finland” Laaksonen (8 May 1920–7 Nov 1991), Find A Grave Memorial no. 81412286, ; Maintained by Bruce Carle (contributor 47484898) Unknown.