Art and Design | News | Tom of Finland

Tom of Finland's L.A. Studio Revealed by His Muse and Mentor: VIDEO PREMIERE


Starting on November 2, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) is presenting the first American museum exhibition devoted to the art of Bob Mizer (1922–1992) and Touko Laaksonen, aka “Tom of Finland” (1920–1991), two of the most significant figures of 20th century erotic art and leaders  of an emerging post-war gay culture.

TomoffinlandAs part of the exhibition, MOCAtv has produced a short film about the Tom of Finland foundation, which sits on a quiet, tree-lined street in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The foundation is located in a house where 'Tom of Finland' lived with Foundation co-founder and former Bruce Weber model Durk Dehner.

Dehner met the artist after seeing an illustration that was hanging at NYC's Spike bar, and Dehner met Tom and became his caretaker, and one of Tom's muses.

MOCA is allowing Towleroad readers to be the first to see this film, which features Dehner and foundation Vice President S.R. Sharp discussing Tom's work, how he got his name, and why he moved to Los Angeles.

The home is open to the public as well.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. I admit, TOF's pics are hot. Here, where I live there was exhibition of his works, satisfying exhibition.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Oct 31, 2013 10:18:35 AM

  2. Great story and video. Glad this work is getting the deserved recognition.

    Posted by: Robert H | Oct 31, 2013 10:26:42 AM

  3. UGh! LA! Who lives there?

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 31, 2013 10:26:51 AM

  4. Thanks for posting Andy. As a young man Tom's art made me realize that what I was feeling was both manly and more than ok. Will look forward to seeing the MOCA show.

    Posted by: bluedogj | Oct 31, 2013 11:02:52 AM

  5. A LOT of gay and forward looking people live in Los Angeles! (I do not.)This could have been in New York, (I do not live there either.) however the ancient song lyrics "my MOMA done tol' me" does not readily come to mind . . .

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 31, 2013 11:26:12 AM

  6. Good to see th eFoundation doing well and TOF getting the recogition theat he deserves.

    Posted by: Louis | Oct 31, 2013 11:31:04 AM

  7. I live in LA. Love it here!

    Posted by: mikep | Oct 31, 2013 11:45:58 AM

  8. "UGh! LA! Who lives there?"

    Well Durk does. He's been keeping Tom alive for all these years and has done an excellent job of it.

    Years ago he spent an evening showing me around the house, studying my Catholic-guilt related responses to everything and teaching me a lot about myself.

    Great guy. Love him. Will never forget him.

    Posted by: Joe Bua | Oct 31, 2013 12:10:01 PM

  9. Dirk has a penis fountain in his back yard? I love the art of Tom Of Finland, the reality is depressing.

    Posted by: Endora | Oct 31, 2013 12:15:58 PM

  10. For anyone who thinks all gay men have a good sense of style, I give you the guy with the mullet.

    Posted by: Seattle Mike | Oct 31, 2013 12:41:43 PM

  11. I remember going to a party at that house. . . probably about 20 years ago. I seem to recall guests talking about a dungeon in the basement.

    Posted by: Marty | Oct 31, 2013 3:14:38 PM

  12. It's essentially an invisible world known only through images.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 31, 2013 4:06:21 PM

  13. For much more on this period read "Secret Historian, the life and times of Sam Steward". Sam Steward wrote porn novellas under the name "Phil Andros" and many were illustrated by Tom of Finland. A truly amazing read and a real cultural education.

    Posted by: Mikey DallasM | Oct 31, 2013 4:51:42 PM

  14. I used to live in Silverlake a few blocks from the a gallery that sold Tom of Finland's work, then I moved to Echo Park and found that I was living 2 blocks from this house. Only realized it when I was walking my dog at nite, and many uniformed men kept walking by.

    Posted by: Matthew | Oct 31, 2013 7:57:55 PM

  15. this guy has been secretly selling Tom's work to pay for his party drug filled irresponsible lifestyle for years and getting away with it.....sad

    Posted by: S.E. | Nov 2, 2013 11:29:30 AM

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