As commercial as Tom of Finland licensed products get (they even include dish towels), there is something untamable and wild about Tom of Finland Foundation events. If you are in the L.A. area this weekend, you should visit the Art and Culture Festival just to be in Tom’s house. It is an authentic experience like you can’t get at the Tar Pits or the Observatory.
This year marks the 22nd annual Tom of Finland Art and Culture Festival, taking over the entire landmark property where Tom of Finland Foundation has operated since 1984. The festival is one of the key public events initiated and run by the foundation and serves as a platform in furthering its mission to preserve, protect, and promote erotic art.
To salute Kino Lorber’s October release of the Tom of Finland biopic, this year’s programming will have a focus on moving pictures and pictures in motion, namely skateboards with artwork and tattoos on living bodies.
The festival’s guest artist is Brian Anderson, the legendary skater who declared to the world a year ago that he is gay. He is skateboarding’s most prominent pro star to come out and has recently released a zine that includes his paintings.
At the awards reception on Saturday evening, celebrated artist Jim French (1932-2017) will be remembered for popularizing the aesthetic prevalent in gay adult films to this day, and famed photographer Arthur Tress will be acknowledged for his lifetime of artistic contributions.