Film: Queer Icons: Tom of Finland – Daddy and the Muscle Academy

Tom of Finland – Daddy and the Muscle Academy
A Film on the Art, Life & Times of Tom of Finland 

Film: Ilppo Pohjola, 55 min, Finland, 1991
Plats: NOVA, Lunagallerian, Södertälje
Tid: Söndag 14 oktober kl.17.00
Språk: Finska, eng text

TOM OF FINLAND (Touko Laaksonen) is one of the gay world’s few authentic icons. His drawings have had an enormous influence on gay identity – not only on the visual appearance of gay people, but also on their attitudes and self-understanding.

DADDY AND THE MUSCLE ACADEMY is the only film ever made with Tom of Finland. The film uses a variety of visual elements, including:

Tom of Finland in his own words.
Tom tells his own life story, starting with his childhood in rural Finland, and going on to the influence on him of WWII, his drawings and his experience in the United States. Tom also describes his drawing method and explains the personal and professional motives behind his drawings.

A retrospective of Tom’s drawings.
There are hundreds of Tom’s original works, starting with his early childhood drawings and first sketches. The development of Tom’s photorealistic style is illustrated using images from various magazines, books and posters spanning five decades. Tom’s last color originals are also included.

Tom’s men and their stories.
Leather men from different parts of the United States talk about how Tom’s drawings have influenced their own lives. There are also interviews with fellow artists Etienne and Nayland Blake, Bob Mizer of the Athletic Model Guild and Durk Dehner of the Tom of Finland Foundation.

Daddy and the Muscle Academy shows how Tom of Finland’s work passed from being the private fantasies of a man in Europe to underground images that shaped a generation’s ideas of how a gay man could look and act. – Tom’s work is a blueprint for the appearance and attitudes of gay men in the latter part of the 20th century.

Tom of Finland’s ultimate leather men are known and seen all over the world. They are key icons of Western visual culture.

TomOfFinlandTouko Laaksonen Tom of Finland

”Whenever I was depressed or disgusted, I would feel him, that spirit inside, urging me back to living, back to drawing, I believe there is a lot to the world that can’t be seen or touched, and if you turn away from that — especially if you are an artist — you are avoiding an important part of life, maybe the very heart of it.” — Tom of Finland

”Yes, I consider my work pornography. Pornography means to stimulate peoples’ sexual feelings, and I’m always very aware of that. My motive is lower than art.”

“I know my little ‘dirty drawings’ are never going to hang in the main salons of the Louvre, but it would be nice if — I would like to say ‘when,’ but I better say ‘if’ — our world learns to accept all the different ways of loving. Then maybe I could have a place in one of the smaller side rooms.” (1991) — Tom of Finland

“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 of Finland

Source Tom of Finland Foundation




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