Tom of Finland, aka Touko Laaksonen, a ground breaking artist from Finland who changed the world.
This past February, Aleksi Bardy, the film’s Screenwriter and producer explained why a movie of Tom of Finland is being made. Bardy explained that Tom of Finland is a national hero and one of the best artists to hail from Finland ever, and his life story is really exciting.
“In a time when being gay in Finland was a crime and also an illness, it took courage and the movie is about freedom and courage”. “It is also about joy, Tom of Finland as we see, his character’s are happy and there is no shame there” said film director Dome Karukoski.
“Tom of Finland the movie, is about how an artist changed the world with images and no words, and people’s perceptions of the world” said Bardy.
Director Dome Karukoski has worked closely with the Tom of Finland Foundation. The film is about life in Finland when Tom of Finland was young and through the war years and his becoming known as Tom. The movie will premiere in Finland in February 2017.
In times of oppression, Touko refused to feel shame and would not conform to the obscene definitions that were the norm during his early years as an artist and his tool was joy, he portrayed men as masculine and with an element of humour while the rest of society at the time were portraying gay men as weak.
Tom of Finland got his name in the United States after his first works appeared in Physique Pictorial. Physique Pictorial has other artists with similar style monikers like Bruce of Los Angles and Lon of New York, so Touko became known as Tom of Finland. Now Finland considers him one of their most famous artists.
In 2014, Stamps designed as a tribute to the homoerotic artist and world famous gay icon Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland) were issued by the Finnish Postal Service. The Finnish Postal Service issued the following statement. “His emphatically masculine homoerotic drawings have attained iconic status in their genre and had an influence on, for instance, pop culture and fashion. In his works, Tom of Finland utilized the self-irony and humor typical of subcultures. … The drawings on the stamp sheet represent strong and confident male figures typical of their designer.”