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Tom of Finland: Yearning to Love

At last the story behind the cult illustrator of hyper-masculine cowboys is coming to the big screen in 2017. The trailer is already here to whet our appetites, however. There have been other films about the artist Tom of Finland, but this is the first one to be endorsed by the Tom of Finland Foundation, dedicated to the promotion and preservation of erotic art.

The film will tell the story of ‘Tom of Finland’ – Touko Laaksonen, a veteran of the Second World War and how his experiences as a queer man in the post-war period led to his practice as a queer artist. It’s easy to forget in these days of same-sex marriage how difficult it was for queer people in the past; Tom of Finland’s art was the vanguard of change.

Cultural historian Joseph Slade described Tom of Finland as the ‘most influential creator of gay pornographic images’. The artist produced 3500 illustrations over 40 years depicting muscular men with tight clothes or partially undressed. Considering the popularity of the images, it’s about time they were finally brought into the mainstream.