If you’re looking for vintage fetish artists, you can’t ignore Tom of Finland. Next to Robert Mapplethorpe, he is perhaps the most influential creator of gay pornographic images. Tom of Finland was the pseudonym of Touko Valio Laaksonen (May 8, 1920 – November 7, 1991). This Finnish artist is best known for his homoerotic art. Over the course of four decades, he produced some 3,500 illustrations, mostly featuring men who were exaggeratedly muscular, had huge penises, and were partially or completely undressed.
His influence is still evident today, but he was the first to provoke by highlighting overtly gay men in a learning subculture of the 50s, 60s and 70s. Certainly in the ’50s and ’60s he faced censorship. Only after 1970 did his work become more mainstream. In 1984, the Tom of Finland Foundation was established to protect his work. A film about his life was released in 2017.
Below you can see some examples of his work:
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