Tom of Finland

Showcasing the works and life story of one of the world’s best-known Finnish artists, the exhibition is an unprecedentedly extensive view of the life and times of Tom of Finland.

  • 28.4.–29.10.2023
3rd floor
Tickets: with a museum ticket

Tom at TOM House, Los Angeles, 1984. Courtesy Tom of Finland Foundation. Photo: Jack Shear.

Description

One of the most famous Finnish artists in history, Tom of Finland is renowned for his distinctive style and iconic images. Built around the life story of Touko Valio Laaksonen (8 May 1920 – 7 November 1991), the show at Kiasma covers the artist’s career spanning six decades.

Arranged into a narrative whole, the exhibition is based on events and places in the artist’s life: his youth in the countryside, his move to the city, military service, the post-war period and numerous trips to Europe and America. The characters appearing in Tom of Finland’s pictures – lumberjack, motorcyclist, office worker, soldier, policeman – are a carnivalesque play on dress codes, subverting established notions of masculinity.

The exhibition highlights Tom of Finland’s mastery as an illustrator whose influence can be detected in the work of many leading cultural figures, such as Robert Mapplethorpe and Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Curators

The exhibition is curated by Kiasma’s director, Leevi Haapala, and João Laia, chief curator of temporary exhibitions.