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.
John Waters was born in 1946 in Baltimore, Maryland, and briefly attended New York University. He made his first film, Hag in a Black Leather Jacket, in 1964, and has since directed 17 others, including Pink Flamingos, Polyester, Hairspray, and Pecker. He lives in Baltimore. Camille Paglia is the author of six books, including her groundbreaking analysis of sexual ambiguity in art and literature, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson. Paglia is Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA, where she lives. Todd Oldham's studio is a multifaceted design studio for film, photography, furniture, interior decor, books, and even floral arrangements. He lives in New York City and in eastern Pennsylvania. Armistead Maupin launched his fictive Tales of the City serial in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1976, later released as a six-volume series of novels, three of which were produced as miniseries for television. He lives in San Francisco. Edward Lucie-Smith was born in 1933 in Kingston, Jamaica, and schooled at Oxford. He has published over 100 books, including Sexuality in Western Art and Latin American Art of the 20th Century. He lives in London and travels extensively. Dian Hanson produced a variety of men's magazines from 1976 to 2001, including Juggs, Outlaw Biker, and Leg Show, before becoming TASCHEN's Sexy Book Editor. Her titles include the "body part" series, The Art of Pin-up, Psychedelic Sex, and Ren Hang.