Finland’s Helsinki-filmi production company has announced that it will be making the authorised movie about the life and work of Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen, the man better known as Tom of Finland, who in the 1950s and 60s produced thousands of illustrations, many of which were sexually explicit, of sailors, bikers, lumberjacks, businessmen and beach boys.
His images form an integral part of the iconography of popular culture in the 20th century. Fashion designers such as Tom Ford and Jean Paul Gaultier and photographers Robert Mapplethorpe, Bruce Weber and Herb Ritts have all been influenced by Tom of Finland images. New York’s Museum of Modern Art even has several Tom of Finland works in their permanent collection.
Entitled simply TOM the Movie, the production is the first such feature to be authorised by the Tom of Finland Foundation, Durk Dehner, its president and co-founder, said, “Helsinki-filmi share our vision of how to bring Tom’s life and work to the screen. We are very happy to work with them on the first and only authorised portrayal of this groundbreaking artist.” Casting is expected to be announced early next year.