Tom of Finland Exhibit Draws A Crowd

Classic beauty never goes out of style. That's why Tom of Finland's venerable artwork continues to be widely seen. The latest exhibition of his epic drawings is currently up and running at the World Erotic Art Museum in Miami Beach. Coinciding with the Miami Beach Gay Pride festivities a couple of weeks ago, Tom of Finland: Male Masterworks features five decades of the prolific artist's work. The 20 original drawings and paintings show, in chronological order, the development of his techniques and the diversity of his subject matter. A new video tribute and rare vintage memorabilia of the artist from Finland are also part of the exhibition. Together, they illustrate how Tom (real name: Touko Laaksonen) continues to influence culture by challenging gay stereotypes. His depiction of übermasculine men freely enjoying their sexuality has had an important effect on our gay (and straight) world.

And what better place to display it than in Florida's premier coastal resort town? "Miami Beach is a vital art center and Male Masterworks is a great opportunity to celebrate Tom--both as a liberator and as an artist", says S.R. Sharp, VP and curator for the Tom of Finland Foundation. Although Tom passed away in 1991, his good works continue through this group. Formed in 1984, the Tom of Finland Foundation is a nonprofit educational archive that protects, preserves and promotes erotic art and encourages healthier, more tolerant attitudes about sexuality. The exhibition runs through July 31. For more information, visit TomOfFinlandFoundation.org.

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