Let's Go Camping with Tom of Finland

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Courtesy of the Tom of Finland Foundation

“My aim is not to create an ideal but to draw beautiful men who love each other and are proud of it.”

“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, Tom of Finland: His Life and Times

Cross Lane Projects and Lakes International Comic Art Festival (LICAF) are proud to celebrate the forthcoming 100th anniversary of the birth of Tom of Finland (b. Touko Laaksonen, 1919, d. 1991): The world’s best loved queer artist, comics creator and gay icon. From the 1940s on, Tom pushed the boundaries of gay erotic art, creating a style of comics that inspired a generation of gay men to celebrate their sexuality.

Let’s Go Camping with Tom of Finland has been curated with Lakes International Comic Art Festival and the Tom of Finland Foundation, and charts the artist’s career, including his famous Kake comic series and some of his other popular titles, including Camping and the soccer comic, Dick. The exhibition will also explore the work of artists inspired by Tom of Finland, including the well-know American artist, Michael Kirwan. This is a unique, free exhibition, open to those over 18, and part of the official Tom of Finland Centenary celebrations, supported by the Finnish Institute.