Dirty Pictures: Tom of Finland, Masculinity, and Homosexuality

ISBN: 031227694X
ISBN 13: 9780312276942
By: Micha Ramakers

Check Price Now


Art Art History Biography Currently Reading Home It Wikipedia Left Off Midway Through Non Fiction Queer To Read

About this book

In this groundbreaking study of the art of Touko Laaksonen (1920-1991), better known as Tom of Finland, Micha Ramakers explores the incredible and defining impact Tom's work has had upon the culture at large. It is work whose erotic and emotional power remains unabated to this day. Lavishly illustrated with drawings and photographs, Dirty Pictures is a lively and entertaining book encompassing the rise of the gay movement, the world of fine art, and the function (and the functioning) of pornography. For the millions of fans of Tom's work throughout the world, as well as readers unfamiliar with his work, this study brings uncommon insight into Tom of Finland's decidedly uncommon work.

Reader's Thoughts


Hilarious exploration of gayness in our prized modern institutions


An academic book about Tom of Finland? TOTALLY! This was a great read with lots of hottt pictures. Looking at race, class, gender and sexuality in Tom's work and the context it was created in, and how gay culture was shaped by Tom's rich fantasy world that he so vividly captured in his art...he once said that he only knew a drawing was successful if he had to pause in the middle of drawing it because he became too aroused. I loved learning more about Tom's background and the ascent of his work, particularly how it was embedded in the international gay culture that he participated in and helped to create. The book argues that perhaps his work is more powerful when considered as pornography rather than fine art and serves a function in creating visibility and identity within a particular gay male subculture...perhaps some of that is lost when his work is in museums...at the same time the validation is important in making the world more accepting of gay sex...I love thinking about these questions of assimilation versus the power of maintaining a radical existence on the fringes that pushes the mainstream, and this book ably feeds those thoughts.


As posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:All gay men should know who Tom of Finland is. You're bound to see a picture or two in gay bookstores, bars and galleries. If you're not familiar with Tom, then you need to get out more often! I found *Dirty Pictures* not just fascinating with these wonderful and eye-catching pictures but educational with Tom of Finland's background and his intentions/purposes behind each pictures. It's amazing how having a network with friends can lead one to be legendary, if you could call it that. Prior to meeting Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorne, Tom of Finland's works were just considered pornographic. Over time, that gradually changed. I wished this book contained all of Tom's pictures, along with a background for each of them. However, with what knowledge that I've learned here, I cannot wait to see the other works of Tom's and do my own analyses. That's the fun part.


Great if you just want Tom of Finland pictures, ok if you want to actually read it.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *