Finnish gay erotic artist Touko Laaksonen, AKA Tom of Finland, is to be recognized in his homeland with a series of commemorative stamps by Finland’s postal service.
The stamps will be released in September this year as the first of a series of commemorative stamps recognizing prominent Finnish artists.
Tom of Finland produced more than 3,500 erotic drawings before his death in 1991, mostly published in early gay muscle magazines beginning in 1956.
His works often involved bondage and discipline themes and featured hyper-masculine men dressed as soldiers, construction workers, lumberjacks and bikers and contributed to the development of the gay ‘clone’ look of the 1970’s.
The Finnish postal service praised Laaksonen’s art in a statement, writing ‘His emphatically masculine homoerotic drawings have attained iconic status in their genre and had an influence on, for instance, pop culture and fashion.
‘In his works, Tom of Finland utilized the self-irony and humor typical of subcultures.’
The two drawings from which the three stamps are drawn from were selected by the stamp’s designer Timo Berry and Susanna Luoto – who is the Finnish representative of the Tom of Finland Foundation.
The release of the stamps will also coincide with an exhibition at Finland’s Postal Museum from 6 September until 29 March of 2015 of the artist’s letters from the early 1940’s until 1991 entitled ‘Sealed with a Secret – Correspondence of Tom of Finland.’
It will be one of the first exhibitions to be displayed in the new Postal Museum which is opening in Tampere in September.