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Tom of Finland: The Art of Pleasure (1998) - Micha Ramakers [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

"If I don't have an erection when I'm doing a drawing, I know it's no good." —Tom of Finland

Brawny hunks boasting larger-than-life muscles and skin-tight leather pants…. Crotches engorged and nearly ripping apart seams…. Men upon men upon men cavorting and indulging nearly every possible fantasy…. Tom’s men are so hot they’re off the Richter scale. Until TASCHEN published the retrospective volume on this master illustrator’s work, his drawings had been relegated to the walls of gay bars and adult shops. Our first publication of this book helped Tom’s influence as an artist extend far beyond the gay scene. Now this masterwork is finally being made available again, in a more compact format, for any and all to enjoy. --via Amazon.com

Tom of Finland (May 8, 1920 – November 7, 1991) (born Touko Laaksonen in Kaarina, Finland) was a fetish artist notable for his stylized homoerotic art and his influence on late twentieth century gay culture. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_of_Finland [Jan 2006]


Homoeroticism refers to same-sex love and desire, most especially as it is depicted or manifested in the visual arts and literature. It can also be found in performative forms; from theatre to the theatricality of uniformed movements (e.g.: the Wandervogel and Gemeinschaft der Eigenen). Homoeroticism thus differs from the interpersonal homoerotic; because homoeroticism is a set of artistic and performative traditions, in which such feelings can be embodied in culture and thus expressed into the wider society.

The term homoerotic (and its companion term lesboerotic) carries with it the weight of modern classifications of love and desire that did not necessarily exist in previous eras. Homosexuality as we know it today was not codified and pathologized until the mid-20th century. Prior to that time, it was common for men and women to spend a great deal of time in the company of their own sex. As a result, close associations between members of the same sex formed, most notably in the "romantic friendships" documented in the letters and papers of 18th- and 19th- century men and women. These romantic friendships, which may or may not have included genital sex, were characterized by passionate emotional attachments and what modern thinkers would consider homoerotic overtones. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homoeroticism [Jan 2006]

Homoeroticism in the visual arts (male-male)

Male-male examples, in the visual fine arts, range through history: Ancient Greek vase art; Roman wine goblets (The Warren Cup); the Italian Renaissance (such as Agnolo Bronzino, Caravaggio), through to the many 19th Century history paintings of classical characters such as Hyacinth, Ganymede and Narcissus; the work of late 19th century artists (such as Thomas Eakins, Eugene Jansson, Henry Scott Tuke and Magnus Enckell); through to the modern work of artists such as Paul Cadmus and Gilbert & George. Such art is, necessarily, figurative. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homoeroticism#Notable_examples:_male-male [Aug 2005]

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