Fotografiska Tallinn brings Tom of Finland’s exhibition to live

On Sunday, 19 April, Fotografiska Tallinn will be touring live from the exhibition, The Darkroom, by the Finnish artist, Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen), that opens the unknown photography side of the artist.

“Not too many people know that the world-famous sketch artist of homoerotic art Tom of Finland took photographs of his friends and partners to use as inspiration for his artwork,” the photo gallery said in a statement. “Fotografiska Tallinn is the first place in the world where his photography is displayed, together with his drawings.”

The exhibition includes unique original photographs, photographic collages, sketches and drawings: all of them created by Tom, where people get to see the entire process from photographs to sketches and finally the finished drawing.

“This treasure chest of images that’s never been shown before, gives a more in-depth insight into how his skilfully drawn super-macho men were created. Men full of confidence and dressed in uniforms, the leather or latex that referred to the trend in gay culture,” Fotografiska said.

Free of charge

“With his artwork, Touko Laaksonen thoroughly challenged contemporary society. The gay community, where he spread happiness and excitement, regarded him as the hottest trend in the world. At that time, homosexuality was criminalised and classified as a mental disorder. For hiding his identity, Laaksonen worked for years under various pseudonyms.”

The live tour is led by the Fotografiska Tallinn guide, Elo Aun. The curator of the exhibition, Berndt Arell, joins the tour via video call.

All the participants can join the tour via YouTube. Questions can be asked via Slido app. The tour takes about 45 minutes and is conducted in English on 19 April at 5:00 PM EEST (3:00 PM BST/10:00 AM EDT).

Access to the tour is free of charge, but it’s possible to still buy the ticket online.

Fotografiska Tallinn, inspired by the Stockholm-based internationally renowned cultural place for the world’s best photography, opened in the Estonian capital in June 2019.

For the latest developments in Estonia, follow our special blog on coronavirus.

Cover: Not too many people know that the world-famous sketch artist of homoerotic art Tom of Finland took photographs of his friends and partners to use as inspiration for his artwork. Images courtesy of Fotografiska Tallinn.

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