Aug 13, 2020 - Sale 2544

Sale 2544 - Lot 75

Price Realized: $ 55,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 9,000


Graphite on paper with fixative. 292x210 mm; 11 1/2x8 1/2 inches. Signed "Tom" in ink, lower right image. 1965. Tipped to mount, archivally framed.

An early and classic image from Tom's bar and bikers sequence, which includes the characters that would appear in his most famous creation, Kake, in 1968.

Tom of Finland Foundation catalogue Number 65.03.

Provenance: Exhibited and sold, Robert Samuel Gallery, New York City, 1980, to current owner.

Published: Dian Hanson, Tom of Finland, Cologne: Taschen, 1998, page 216; Tom of Finland: The Art of Pleasure, Cologne: Taschen, 1998, page 104.

Additional Details

Tom of Finland, born a century ago this year, pioneered a new freedom and aesthetic in gay erotic art. Born into a time and place of extreme censorship, he was inspired by the "beefcake" photographs that were primarily distributed through body building magazines of the 1940s and `50s to create a visual language for gay men that was hyper-masculine and, over time, increasingly graphic, depicting the wildest sexual fantasies. Always instilled with a playfulness and joyful involvement of the participants, they also toyed with rebellion and put sex, politics, history, and aesthetics on a level playing field. His work became an inspiration for generations of artists to find their own voice and expression. His drawings, photographs, and collages can be found in several important collections and museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.