Before the Dawn of Tom
BY Christopher Harrity
July 09 2011 4:00 AM ET
Tom of Finland’s first submissions to the underground gay magazine Physique Pictorial came in 1956. By the second half of the 20th century, censorship laws had relaxed and allowed artists like Tom greater freedom in depicting the nude male in art. But the first half of the century demanded that artists play it more subtly and coded. Often they destroyed their work of a more gay or erotic nature, or kept it under lock and key.
Here we look at the paintings from six of these artists through 21st-century eyes, and it’s hard to fathom not seeing the gay subtext in their work. One seems to even flaunt the male erotic figure in the most mainstream of all venues — The Saturday Evening Post.
And yet all these six artists were respected and collected, commercially viable producers for the pre-Kinsey crowd.
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Entertainment News Seen at TrevorLIVE: Jane Lynch, Billy Porter, Cason Crane, Cindy McCain 9 min 20 sec ago
- Women Where the Girls Are in West Hollywood 1 hour 43 min ago
- The Wedding Channel EXCLUSIVE: Kim Stolz & Lexi Ritsch Wedding Photos 2 hours 7 min ago
- The Wedding Channel PHOTOS: A Mass Wedding First in Maryland 6:24 PM
- Entertainment News How To Take Down An Anti-Gay 'Victim' 6:06 PM
- Arts & Entertainment PHOTOS: Perez Hilton Vs. Inflatable Alligator 6:00 PM
- Entertainment News One Direction: Caught Twerking—and in Calvins 5:44 PM