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Tom of Finland

Tom of Finland, born Tuoko Laaksonen in 1920, ignited a cultural movement with his iconic homoerotic art, which premiered in the Spring 1957 issue of the groundbreaking American all-male magazine Physique Pictorial. He is considered and respected as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century - with works part of permanent collections in museums around the world - and his signature black-and-grey technique is instantly recognizable and remains a key component of popular culture.

His body of work includes 4,500+ works of art mostly featuring men with exaggerated sexual traits - square jaws, bulging muscles - wearing tight or scant clothing and positioned in a variety of hyper-masculine scenarios. Tom of Finland is an important part of art history and pop culture because of its forward-thinking, raw and honest depiction of homosexuality with an unabashed and confident air.

Photo: Robert Pruzan