Touko Valio Laaksonen, best known by his pseudonym Tom of Finland, was a Finnish artist known for his stylized highly masculinized homoerotic art, and for his influence on late-20th century gay culture.
“I know my little ‘dirty drawings’ are never going to hang in the main salons of the Louvre, but it would be nice if – I would like to say ‘when,’ but I better say ‘if’ – our world learns to accept all the different ways of loving. Then maybe I could have a place in one of the smaller side rooms.” – Tom of Finland
“In those days, a gay man was made to feel nothing but shame about his feelings and his sexuality. I wanted my drawings to counteract that, to show gay men being happy and positive about who they were. Oh, I didn’t sit down to think this all out carefully. But I knew – right from the start – that my men were going to be proud and happy men!” – Tom of Finland
In 1984, the nonprofit Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF) was established. You can read more about Tom of Finland and the foundation here.
Smiles and Spanks, NaturallyGin.com