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Tom of Finland Foundation 2020 Awards: Meet the Artists and Icons
A Message From Tom of Finland Foundation
"On Sunday, December 13, 2020, Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF) proudly presented awards to stellar individuals who have demonstrated their vast commitment to our community.
"These awards were given on the final day of ToFF's 25th Art & Culture Festival: Plugged In, which marked both the 36th year of the Foundation as well as the 100th birthday of Tom of Finland. ToFF is honored to have the opportunity to recognize these influential individuals who have, and continue to, shape the world in which we live."
Past awardees include Benedikt Taschen, H.R. Giger, Herb Ritts, Pierre et Gilles, Clive Barker, Camille Paglia, Rod McKuen, Slava Mogutin, and Brian Anderson.
Performance artist Ron Athey [2018 awardee] (left), with award winners Rob Halford (upper right), and Larry Flynt, 2002.
"These annual awards are a blend of our history and our future. To the 2020 class of Tom of Finland Foundation recipients: Thank you for your tireless work to make and support art, and for challenging the status quo. We look forward to seeing what great things you accomplish next," said S.R. Sharp, ToFF's vice president and curator.
The 2020 Artist Hall of Fame Award: Bruce LaBruce
The 2020 Artist Hall of Fame Award went to artist, writer, filmmaker, photographer and underground director Bruce LaBruce for his artistic achievements and steadfast commitment to the art and culture of the erotic art community.
"I am excited to be included in the Artist Hall of Fame, I'm really in good company, it's really awesome. Tom of Finland was a big influence on me. He gave me courage to be really defiant and militant about my sexuality and to not be afraid to be pornographic in my work."
The 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award: Annie Sprinkle
The 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award went to certified sexologist, author, artist and influential figure Annie Sprinkle for leadership and steadfast commitment to the erotic art community.
"I'm very grateful for this award. Tom of Finland's work celebrated the world I was so ecstatic to be in. To all the artists exploring sex and the erotic in their work -- please keep it up. The erotic can be found almost everywhere, but not everyone is lucky enough to get to see what we see. We aren't breaking taboos, we're fixing them. Sex is political."
The 2020 Cultural Icon Award: Dan Savage
The 2020 Cultural Icon Award went to author, media pundit, journalist, and LGBT community activist Dan Savage for his artistic achievement and immeasurable contributions to the art and culture of our community.
"I'm very touched, very appreciative and very honored. Especially at this moment when we are seeing more censorship of queer artists, queer representation, and queer voices on social media. Like Tom, my work has always been very sexually explicit. I've always tried to meet people where they are and have honest, fun, playful, and explicit conversations about sex, all sex. Seeing the promotion of queer artists is really inspiring."
The Tom of Finland Grand Prize and the Dean Cameron Multiple Figure Award Went to Mr. Gruts
During the festival, ToFF also announced the winners of this year's Emerging Artists Competition, which boasted both international contest winners and other participants.
The purpose of this contest is twofold: to encourage artists to share their erotic work and to elevate the field of erotic art by rewarding some of the best examples. The contest is open to any artist except for previous winners of the contest, or artists who are already selling erotic work commercially.
The eight internationally renowned creators who judged the 2020 competition are Jonathan Anderson, fashion designer; Seth Bogart, artist and musician; Nao Bustamante, artist; Matt Lambert, filmmaker and photographer; Felipe Meres, artist, winner 2014 Tom of Finland Emerging Artist Grand Prize; Silvia Prada, artist; Martin Sorrondeguy, artist, photographer, and musician; and Russell Tovey, actor; and Robert Diament, gallerist, cohosts of Talk Art.
The Tom of Finland Grand Prize and the Dean Cameron Multiple Figure Award went to Mr. Gruts of New Zealand. He will receive an original Tom of Finland preparatory drawing as a prize.
Mr. Gruts (New Zealand), Country Club, 2020, graphite on watercolor paper, 11.70" x 16.50" (Image at left has been edited for content.)
"I am overjoyed to hear that my piece has received both the Dean Cameron Award and the overall Tom of Finland Grand Prize. This is a pivotal encouragement in my career in erotic arts and I am grateful to have been selected."
The Garilyn Brune Dual Figure Award went to Albino Hector of Spain.
Ultimate Climax, 2020, Digital (Autodesk Maya, Photoshop), 42.27" x 39.37"
(Image has been edited for content.)
The Bill “The Hun” Schmeling Single Figure Award went to Ki Yoong from England.
Jock, 2020, watercolor on paper, jockstrap, 10" x 8"
Witt Fetter (USA), The Palanca Fantasy Award
"POV: The Artist has Dysphoria," 2020. Oil on canvas, 36'' x 48''
Leather Sam Finland, (Finland), Photography 3rd Prize
Enlightment, 2020, photograph, 24" x 16"
Lima Drib, (Belgium), Single Figure, Third Prize
Nature Morte-Ambri, 2020, digital, 3,600px x 2,700px
PIG, (U.K.), Dual Figure, 2nd Prize
Same Time Next Week?, 2020, oil on canvas, 15.75" x 15.75"
TwoTom, (USA), Fantasy, Second Prize
No More Slave, 2020, pencil, paint on paper, 18" x 24"
Xandr Arquin, (USA), Photography Second Prize
In Ecstasy-Encasement, 2020, lith print on gelatin silver, 8" x 10"