Tom of Finland: His Life and Times (Stonewall Inn Editions)

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9780312113650: Tom of Finland: His Life and Times (Stonewall Inn Editions)

When the definitive history of hte emergence of gay culture in the second half of the twentieth century is written, one individual artist is almost certain to be acknowledged for having singlehandedly shaped the erotic imaginations of generations of gay men: hte Scandinavian illustrator Tom of Finland.

Working alone and in secret in a far-off land, the remarkable drawings that sprang from this artist's hands-leatherman-bikers, cowboys, cops, lumberjacks, hardhats, soldiers, and sailors -- become archetypal images that delineated the shape of homoerotic desire.

With Tom's full cooperation in the years before his death, F. Valentine Hooven III hs written a full biography of the man, while tracing the evolution and impact of his art on the world.

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Review:

Perhaps no one has had a greater influence on gay male fashion than illustrator-cartoonist Tom of Finland. In this volume his unusual and triumphant life story is told in words and pictures. The pictures, of course, steal the show, as Tom's bubble-bottomed macho men fight, love, and punish each other. There's still much to be said about Tom's impact on American and European gay culture, but this book provides a good starting point not only for Tom's fans who want to learn about the man behind the leather-clad images, but also for the uninitiated who've always wondered where the leather-cap-and-chaps look origintated. Sadly, with Tom's death the flow of testosterone-packed pictures has stopped, but volumes like this show that there is still life in his legend.

About the Author:

F. Valentine Hooven, III was born in Philadelphia and has spent much of his adult life in the theater, writing, designing, and acting regionally and in New York. Since leaving the theater in the mid-eighties, he has been a full-time freelance writer and illustrator. He lives in West Hollywood.

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Hooven, F. Valentine
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