For 60+ years, Tom of Finland (aka Touko Laaksonen) has inspired and empowered viewers, while pioneering expressions of gay desire through his art. While certainly erotic, much of his artwork wasn’t overtly sexual, rather playfully suggestive—making male-on-male lust somewhat everyday and casual (nothing if not brave in the ’50s, when he began showing his work). In a new show at Detroit’s MOCAD, “Tom House: The Work and Life of Tom of Finland,” Laaksonen’s art is explored alongside his private life. Displaying everything from childhood sketches to personal possessions, the show promises to be tremendously comprehensive, with the team at MOCAD and the Tom of Finland Foundation recreating “the interior of Laaksonen’s own Los Angeles perch.” See more at Artsy.
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