In 1998, TASCHEN introduced the world to the masterful art of Touko Laaksonen with The Art of Pleasure. Prior to that, Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland, enjoyed an intense cult following in the international gay community but was largely unknown to a broader audience.
In 2009, TASCHEN followed up with the ultimate Tom overview: Tom of Finland XXL, a beautiful big collector’s edition with over 1,000 images, covering six decades of the artist’s career. The work was gathered from collections across the United States and Europe with the help of the Tom of Finland Foundation, featuring many drawings, paintings, and sketches never previously reproduced. Other images had only been seen out of context and were finally presented in the sequential order Tom intended for full artistic appreciation and erotic impact.
The elegant oversized volume showed the full range of Tom’s talent, from sensitive portraits to frank sexual pleasure to tender expressions of love and haunting tributes to young men struck down by AIDS, and was completed by eight commissioned essays on Tom’s social and personal impact by Camille Paglia, John Waters, Armistead Maupin, Todd Oldham, and others, plus a scholarly analysis of individual drawings by art historian Edward Lucie-Smith.
The only thing missing from Tom of Finland XXL was a widely affordable price tag–until now. The new Tom of Finland XXL is still big enough to work your biceps, and includes all of the original content, but costs a fraction of the original price. You’re welcome.