95 Explosively Erotic Works of Art From the Tom Art & Culture Festival
By Ruben Esparza
This year marks the 23rd annual Tom of Finland Art and Culture Festival. Read more below.
Tom of Finland Art and Culture Festival: Eye on Collecting takes place at Tom of Finland House (TOM House), 1421 Laveta Terrace, Los Angeles (Echo Park) on October 6-7, 2018.
This year marks the 23rd annual Tom of Finland Art and Culture Festival, located at the Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument 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 celebrate the release of the book, My Gay Eye, this year’s programming will focus on the purposeful commitment of collecting art, Eye on Collecting.
“What better way to say ‘thank you’ to an artist than investing in his vision? A review in a magazine, or a comment left, is definitely a way to show support – but to buy something by them is the ultimate way of acknowledging them. At the Festival you find what represents you, and you then get to share the artwork in your home with your friends – the gratitude is circulated.” – Durk Dehner, president and cofounder, Tom of Finland Foundation.
TOM House is the site where the artist and gay hero Tom of Finland lived and worked for the last and most prolific decade of his life, and where he fully lived what he drew. Marked by artists and a community that disarms shame and judgment, TOM House has been and continues to be a gathering place that promotes his message of being free and happy, embodied in respect and acceptance.
My Gay Eye(Mein schwules Auge) is a special Tom of Finland Foundation edition. Artists from its pages will be represented at the Festival with works available for sale including: Rubén Esparza Curatorial showing Marcel Alcala, JT Bruns, Amina Cruz, Cleonette Harris, HOMORIOT, Peter Kalisch, Naruki Kukita, Matt Lambert, Santy Mito, Slava Mogutin, Manuel Rodrigues/Sad Boy, Gio Black Peter, Oliver Sarley, and Phil Tarley. New Films by Bruce LaBruce and performance by Jon Vaz Gar.
Rick Castro’s Dungeon will feature John Blackburn, Sierra Domino, Paul Mahler and Joel-Peter Witkin.
And there is more...
Special guest artist, photographer, poet and Russian dissident, Slava Mogutin, who will read and be on hand to sign books. Steven Reigns, poet and educator, has invited notables to share their written words on Saturday, including author Clint Catalyst and performance artist Ron Athey.
TOM House will preview Secret Gay Box curated by John Wolf; the show is an expansive history of Queerness embodied in a menagerie of objects from across time. The works within are by Brian Andrew, Patrick Angus, Paul Cadmus, Hossein Edalatkhah, Don Joint, Mike Kuchar, Joseph La Piana, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jose Gonzalo Garcia Munoz, Justin Olerud, Stuart Sandford, Matt Siegle, Andy Warhol, and David Wojnarowicz.
Drawings by Silvia Prada from her recently released artist book, TOM, developed in collaboration with Tom of Finland Foundation will be on view. A series of photographs by Daniel Trese taken at the Foundation in 2014 will be showcased in conjunction with his exhibition Surface Streets at Tom of Finland Store. Los Angeles’ Lethal Amounts has always focused on subversive and counter culture these. In their booth, they showcase their collaborations with artists and musicians. Jeremy Lucido, photographer, publishes Starrfucker and features zines as art. A live auction on Sunday will allow attendees to bid on classic Homoerotica.
Eye on Collecting features over 60 Queer artists including Seth Bogart, Hector Silva, and the late Michael Kirwan. Resident artist Phuc Le will display his photography. Miguel Angel Reyes directs the life drawing sessions and will preview his upcoming exhibition at TOM House as will Jess Scott and Stefan Pinto. Josh Paul Thomas’ photography is the cover for My Gay Eye and he works across multiple mediums.
Saturday night’s screening is the time-honored Born to Raise Hell (1974) introduced by writer and director, Roger Earl. The film has been the standard by which all gay SM films are judged around the world. Earl received the Tom of Finland Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.
Not only are visitors to the Festival offered food and beverages throughout the day, they can get their footgear shined and benefit from expert hair and facial grooming.
BruceLaBruce: "It Is Not the Pornographer That Is Perverse", screening, Saturday night, 8:30 p.m.