Author(s): F. Valentine Hooven III
Tuoko Laaksonen, also known as Tom of Finland (1920-1991), was an iconic and provocative artist who rose to cult status in the international gay community and beyond for his work celebrating gay archetypes and masculinity during a time when being gay was taboo. Created in partnership with the Tom of Finland Estate, Tom of Finland: The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero is a beautifully detailed visual biography full of never or rarely seen documents from his archive. The text was completed just a few months before the death of the artist and was fully approved by him-making this book the only 100% approved biography of this gay legend responsible for creating the muscled, mustachioed gay archetype of the 1960s and '70s. With an extensive biography, and suggestive photos and illustrations, Tom of Finland: The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero brings to life the icon whose erotic illustrations of men influenced many artists, including Robert Mapplethorpe and Bruce Weber.