Let's Go Camping With Tom of Finland
A new exhibition in association with the Tom of Finland Foundation at Cross Lane Projects Kendal, Cumbria marks the forthcoming 100th anniversary of the birth of Tom of Finland (born Touko Laaksonen). The show celebrates the world’s best-loved queer artist, comics creator and gay icon.
28.9. – 19.10.2019
28 September to 19 October 2019 Open 12-6pm, Wednesday to Saturday & for 10-13 October open 10am-6pm. Free entry, 18 yrs+ only
Cross Lane Projects, Cross Lane, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 5LB
From the 1940s on, Tom pushed the boundaries of gay erotic art, creating a style of comics that inspired a generation of gay men to celebrate their sexuality.
“My aim is not to create an ideal but to draw beautiful men who love each other and are proud of it,” Tom, who died in 1991, noted in his book, Tom of Finland: His Life and Times.
“In those days, a gay man was made to feel nothing but shame about his feelings and his sexuality. I wanted my drawings to counteract that, to show gay men being happy and positive about who they were. Oh, I didn’t sit down to think this all out carefully. But I knew – right from the start – that my men were going to be proud and happy men!”
Let’s Go Camping with Tom of Finland has been curated with the Tom of Finland Foundation and Cross Lane Projects, and charts the artist’s career, including his famous Kake comic series and some of his other popular titles, including Camping and the soccer comic, Dick. The exhibition will also explore the work of artists inspired by Tom of Finland, including the well-known American artist, Michael Kirwan.