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The Tom of Finland Foundation Erotic Art Weekend

This is a fun time.  I've been to a few of these things and have enjoyed each one.  The Tom of Finland Foundation is the organization that originally got its start defending the artwork of Tom of Finland from the all too common rip-offs and thefts that were happening to it back in the 70's.

For those of you who don't know, Tom of Finland was a real person and one of the seminal artists in the gay community from just after World War II through the 1990's.  He is most notable for his portrayals of masculine, lustful, and happy gay men enjoying all aspects of gay leather sex.  Today there is a whole lot of such artwork.  Back in the 1940's, 50's and 60's there wasn't.  There especially wasn't any artwork which showed gay men having fun being gay.  Tom's work was unique in this and for that he achieved lasting fame.  His works were so popular that everyone, it seemed, was copying him.  Copying his style is one thing, copying his artwork without permission is something else.

To quote from their website:

"In 1984, the non-profit Tom of Finland Foundation was established by Durk Dehner and his friend Touko Laaksonen a.k.a. Tom of Finland. As Tom had established worldwide recognition as the master of homo-erotic art, the Foundation's original purpose was to preserve his vast catalog of work. Several years later the scope was widened to offer a safe haven for all erotic art in response to rampant discrimination against art that portrayed sexual behavior or generated a sexual response. Today the Foundation continues in its efforts of educating the public as to the cultural merits of erotic art and in promoting healthier, more tolerant attitudes about sexuality."

After a few years of this the Foundation expanded things to provide a venue for other erotic artists to display their works.  This eventually grew into an entire weekend's worth of activities.  Held each year in October, the Erotic Art Weekend is a great place to view the best in erotic artwork and in the erotic people who come out to see that as well. 

ToFF EAW 2001


The Erotic Art Weekend starts on Friday night's with an open house held at the Foundation's headquarters building in Silver Lake.  That is a fun event to get to as there is a lot of really neat stuff in that house and there are also a lot of neat folks running around inside it as well.  Back in '98 I was at such an open house and happened to catch the eye of Victor Arimondi.

This year was no exception to the fun and it was a great way to start the weekend off.  While I didn't take any pictures that night, I did have a good time and caught up with some good folks.  Saturday marked the opening of the gallery space of the Weekend, and that was where the big deal was.

The Art Show

Rogue Rider

I really like this piece.  This is a preliminary sketch from the Rogue Rider series that Anos Nemos did back in the early 90's.  I met Anos when he moved out here to San Diego from New York.  This was during the early to mid 90's when he had an opening at a local gallery here in San Diego.  I really enjoy the way he depicted his men.  The fact that this particular one is a Longhair only added to its appeal for me.  At the gallery this year was a collection of Anos's works.  Sadly, Anos died a few years back.  All of his works sat in storage with a friend of his until this year when this man decided to share with the rest of the world what Anos had wrought.  I made sure to pick up this piece as I truly enjoy it.  The larger, final version of this piece, is on display at Wolf's here in San Diego.
First Come First Come

All types of erotic art are featured at the exhibit, not just illustrations.  On the left here is an image of such.

Here's the back of this piece:

First Come - back

I rather like this one.  The only problem will be figuring out a place to properly display it.


A big part of the fun at such an event is meeting the actual artists themselves.  Among these is this guy here.  Darell is an artist who creates some very appealing views of men in all their glory.  Back in '98 Darell was the recipient of the Foundation's "Emerging Erotic Artist of the Year" award and was a well deserved honoree.  At that year's event I purchased my first major piece of erotic art and it was one of his works.

Billy was a piece that really spoke to me.  As you can see it is yet another erotic depiction of a masculine man with Longhair.  Yes, there is a theme here!

Anyway, it was good to see him back this year with even more examples of his works to sell.  I look forward to seeing what else he comes up with in the years to come!


Ringold Alley - Perry Ringold Alley

Perry is the fine gentleman to the left here.  Perry is not an artist himself but he does have a fine eye for good gay erotic art.

That is one of the things which led him to open his own store serving the needs of the San Diego leather/ SM/ fetish community.  Perry had built up contacts with a number of gay erotic artists and he is now featuring their works in his store as well as selling some truly unique leather items.

At the time, Perry's operations was strictly a one man show so he really appreciated it when I volunteered to sit in at his booth for him for a bit so he could take in the rest of the show.  And also hit the head too!


Marie and Ganymede
Some of the Usual Suspects

That is Ganymede there on the left and the lovely lady with the vibrant hair is Marie.  The two of them were attending the Weekend to accept the Emerging Erotic Artist award on behalf of Dragon Sundancer.  Dragon has created some very powerful stuff and has a nice site featuring it.  Dragon has also been very sorely put by some over zealous law enforcement folks so you might want to read up on that part of his site as well.  Last time I checked, Marie's hair was purple which just so happens to be her favorite color.

On the Saturday of the event, I decided to wear my new Utilikilt to the event as it was a warm day in Los Angeles, it was something different from all the usual jeans, chaps, leathers and the like, and it was also fun to wear.

As expected, I got a lot of comments about it.  What was unexpected was just how inventive some guys would be in trying to determine if I was regimental.  A couple of guys were very persistent even in the face of my demurals.  So, they showed how creative they could be when I refused to hike up my kilt so they could have a look at the jewels.

To get around this they simply laid down on the floor in front of me and asked me to just walk over them!  Creative, inventive, complimentary.  I like that in a man!  So, walk over them I did.  We all got a great big laugh over that.

Later on in the day, a guy even laid down on the floor so that he could take an "up the kilt shot."  I'm still waiting for a copy of that  picture!

Suffice to say that it was a fun day with all this going on.


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In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed your "stay" at this site.  Check back again to see what new images I have added.  Until then, stay well, play hard, play safe, and have fun!


This page was last updated on: 27 February 2003  

Unless otherwise noted, all photographs and images on this page are copyright protected property of Madoc Pope.  If you would like to use any of my images you must contact me first before you do so.



In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed your "stay" at this site.  Check back again to see what new images I have added.  Until then, stay well, play hard, play safe, and have fun!