“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,” Touko Valio Laaksonen aka Tom of Finland once said. “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!”
Tom of Finland’s homoerotic illustrations represents some of the most seminal artwork of late twentieth-century gay culture. Characterised by incredibly muscular men having sex, the Finnish artist’s work has had a profound influence.
A fusion of avaf’s kaleidoscopic artwork and Laaksonen’s illustration, the range comprises of 50 pieces, including sweatshirts, short shorts and tank tops. According to PAOM, “This collection is set to add a ‘multi-sensory splash and colour overdrive’ to the rainbow of Tom’s Men”.
In order to create this collection, avaf were given complete access to Tom of Finland’s archive in Los Angele. They’ve also created a series of limited edition art prints (see below), which are being sold through Artspace.