(FINNBAY) – Helsinki, 13 April 2014. The Finnish Postal Service, Itella, is preparing to release new sets of stamps in September 2014 containing a total of 33 new designs including “male drawings by Tom of Finland” – a deceased Finnish artist notable for his homoerotic fetish art on late twentieth century gay culture.
Itella is owned by the state of Finland, providing postal, logistics and e-commerce services in Finland.
Tom of Finland or Touko Laaksonen (8 May 1920 – 7 November 1991) is one of the most popular Finnish artists in Finland, who focused on drawing stylized homoerotic fetish art. He produced over 3,500 illustrations, mostly featuring men with exaggerated primary and secondary sex traits with tight or partially removed clothing.
Also Read: 10 Most Beautiful Finnish Stamps
“His emphatically masculine homoerotic drawings have attained iconic status in their genre and had an influence on, for instance, pop culture and fashion. In his works, Tom of Finland utilized the self-irony and humor typical of subcultures,” says Itella.
Currently, same-sex marriage is illegal in Finland. On 20 February the Finnish Parliament started to begin debating a bill to allow same-sex marriage after 166,000 people called for marriage equality laws; however, the debate did not lead to a concrete conclusion.
Out of 578,500 families living in Finland, 0.1 per cent, or about 400 families are ‘considered’ as same-sex families by the Finnish government.
In regards to the selected Tom of Finland illustrations for the stamps, “The sheet portrays a sensual life force and being proud of oneself. There is never too much of that in this northern country,” says Timo Berry. The miniature sheet contains three 1st class self-adhesive stamps.
Pictures: Courtesy of Itella.
“The abstract, especially in those rough sketches, is very important to me, perhaps because of my advertising background, where layout is so important. Sometimes those first few lines cut the paper into such satisfying shapes that I don’t want to go on, but I always do, adding nostrils and nipples and bootstraps until I have filled the paper up as usual,” said Tom of Finland in one of his earlier interviews.