Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen), world famous sketch artist of homoerotic art depicted extremely masculine men with muscles as big as their erection, and self-confidence to spare. However, not too many people know that Tom of Finland took photographs of his friends and partners to use as inspiration for his drawings. The exhibition “The Darkroom” currently in the Fotografiska Tallinn photography museum, opens the unknown side of Tom of Finland’s art - Fotografiska Tallinn presents the premiere of his drawings displayed together with his photography.
“The Darkroom” shows us an artist that, without being very political himself, made a big impact on his contemporary society, with his drive to zestfully portray a homoerotic macho-dream. An artist who eventually reached world-wide fame and could leave the dark rooms to live in Los Angeles half of the year, where the leather gay lifestyle happened in the open – a result of the fight and societal change to decrease oppression towards LGBTQ-people that was happening parallel to his artistic life. That he would have contributed to this development was something he was both proud of and very humble about. This year it's 100 years since Tom of Finland was born and the exhibition serves as the homage to the unknown aspect of his creation.