FORTY YEARS OF PRIDE

Tom of Finland Foundation
JULY 12 - AUGUST 14, 2024
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DIESEL ART GALLERY will present "People Have The Power" a solo exhibition by artist Nanae Mitobe from May 18th (Sat) to July 3rd (Wed), 2024.


“People Have The Power” is the 5th installment in Nanae Mitobe's popular series of exhibitions featuring works inspired by rock stars and musicians. Previous exhibitions titled "Rock is Dead", "War is not over", "Let's Have a Dream!" and "Sit-In" have focused on rock symbolism and the power of music.


“People Have The Power” will provide viewers with an opportunity to engage in deep thought about the power of individual people, the power of the collective, and the role art and music can play in social change.


In addition to the display and sale of new art, T-shirts and related goods produced in collaboration with DIESEL will be on sale at this exhibition.


CONCEPT 

The stars who have departed this world are often revisited and reconsidered in the news and social issues as eras change. Even absolute or universal authorities, norms, and doctrines shift. Since the rise of BLM, topics like gender, various races, and colonial history among minorities have become significant for Mitobe, who has always portrayed portraits.


In "People Have The Power", figures who fought against the Vietnam War, black discrimination, societal biases, and those who left significant marks in the pursuit of peace will emerge. Many of the works depicting these fighters indirectly portray images of media stars or celebrities, rather than directly drawing faces seen in the media. Thus, motifs as replicas through the media, such as magazine covers or record jackets, are depicted.


The venue is structured in red, symbolizing struggle and passion, with Mitobe directly applying "graffiti-like" paintings, creating an atmosphere intersecting Shibuya's street culture.


Installation pieces featuring DJ booths express nonviolent fights through music and art, scattering records and instruments, evoking scenes of fights or conflicts. While conveying dire situations at times, they can also carry positive messages standing with resisting individuals.


Special Exhibition Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Tom of Finland Foundation at DIESEL ART GALLERY

First showing in Japan of "TOM House - The VR Experience," a VR work that immerses visitors in the world of Tom of Finland, supported by Diesel



DIESEL ART GALLERY is pleased to present FORTY YEARS OF PRIDE, an exhibition by Tom of Finland Foundation from Friday, July 12 through Wednesday, August 14, 2024.

 

The exhibition, part of the 2024 Diesel x Tom of Finland Foundation Pride program, celebrates the 40th anniversary of Tom of Finland Foundation, a pioneering organization in gay art. In addition to the exhibition of Tom of Finland's iconic works, the exhibition will also feature a virtual reality work "TOM House the VR Experience", a visual and audio journey that allows visitors to immerse themselves into the world of Tom.

 

Tom of Finland's depictions of muscular, free-spirited men boldly confronted the social prejudices of his time and taught many people the meaning of courage and self-expression. His art increased the confidence and pride of the community and has had a profound impact in the LGBTQ+ movement around the world. His influence has touched artists such as Freddie Mercury, Andy Warhol, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Tom Ford, Helmut Lang, Robert Mapplethorpe, Bruce Weber, and many others. The FORTY YEARS OF PRIDE exhibition provides an opportunity to understand the impact of Tom of Finland on the contemporary art scene, in social consciousness, and how his message resonates with so many diverse people.


The third annual Pride collaboration between Diesel and Tom of Finland Foundation represents a multi-faceted project that includes a capsule collection, an emerging erotic artist competition and a series of global events marking four decades of preserving and promoting the iconic legacy of Tom of Finland. Following the Tom of Finland Art & Culture Festival at Halle am Berghain in Berlin, a presentation and discussion on Fire Island, New York, and Pride events in Helsinki. Through this initiative, Diesel appreciates and applauds Tom of Finland Foundation for providing the artist community with a unique space for openness, freedom and love, and for the tremendous social and cultural impact it has had.

 

In addition to the artworks on display and for sale at the FORTY YEARS OF PRIDE exhibition, the venue will also sell artist-related merchandise and the 2024 Diesel x Tom of Finland Pride capsule collection. which amplifies the message of freedom of expression, sexuality and individualism that has always been a key pillar for Diesel. Specifically designed to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, the capsule features the work of multiple international artists reflecting important voices from Tom of Finland Foundation’s four decades of preserving the work of queer artists.

Tom of Finland Foundation

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Tom of Finland Foundation

https://www.tomoffinland.org

instagram @tomoffinlandfoundation


In 1984, the nonprofit Tom of Finland Foundation (ToFF) was established by Durk Dehner and his friend Tom. As Tom had established worldwide recognition as the master of homoerotic art, the Foundation’s original purpose was to preserve his vast catalog of work. Several years later the scope was widened to offer a safe haven for all erotic art in response to rampant discrimination against art that portrayed sexual behavior or generated a sexual response. Today ToFF continues in its efforts of educating the public as to the cultural merits of erotic art and in promoting healthier, more tolerant attitudes about sexuality.

Tom of Finland

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Tom of Finland


Tom of Finland (born Touko Laaksonen in Finland on May 8, 1920) passed away on November 7, 1991 at the age of 71. He revolutionized gay culture and the art scene and has become globally renowned for his homoerotic works.


Childhood and Education

Touko was raised by parents who were both teachers and was familiar with music, literature, and art from a young age. He played the piano and showed a talent for drawing comics, while also being strongly attracted to muscular workers and farmers. This passion and talent would later be reflected in his work.


Wartime Experience

During World War II, Touko served in the Finnish military and was assigned to an anti-aircraft unit. His experiences with men in uniform during the war had a significant influence on his works, bringing a unique perspective and depth to his art.


Career as an Artist

After the war, Touko studied music at the Sibelius Academy while working in advertising. In 1956, at the urging of a friend, he submitted his work to the American magazine Physique Pictorial which featured his drawing on the cover of its Spring 1957 issue. From that moment, he became known as "Tom of Finland" and gained international attention.


Erotic Art and International Recognition

By the 1970s, Tom's erotic art had gained wide recognition, allowing him to quit his advertising job and focus entirely on his art. In 1973, he began making a living solely from his artwork, and in 1976 he had his first solo exhibition. From then on, Tom established his position as an international gay icon, with his works being collected worldwide.


Influence and Legacy

Tom of Finland's works emphasized the strength, pride, and open expression of sexuality among gay men, enhancing self-awareness and confidence. His works are housed in major museums worldwide, including the Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


Photo: JACK SHEAR Tom at TOM House (Los Angeles), 1984

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TOM House - The VR Experience

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TOM House - The VR Experience

https://www.donkeyhotel.fi/tomhousevr


"TOM House - The VR Experience" is a documentary VR work that allows visitors to experience Tom of Finland's Los Angeles residence, where he spent the last decade of his life. The House is filled with works by Tom himself and those influenced by him, as well as precious photos and unfinished drawings, providing a deep understanding of Tom's art. 

VIEW ARTWORKS

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TOM OF FINLAND Leather Duo, 1963/2011, Fine art print, © 1963 Tom of Finland Foundation

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TOM OF FINLAND Leather Geared, 1987/2007, Fine art print, © 1987 Tom of Finland Foundation

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TOM OF FINLAND Bon Voyage, 1986/2011, Fine art print, © 1986 Tom of Finland Foundation

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TOM OF FINLAND Untitled, 1986/2011, Fine art print, © 1986 Tom of Finland Foundation

2024 Diesel x Tom of Finland Foundation Pride Capsule Collection

The third collaboration between Diesel and Tom of Finland Foundation, the "2024 Diesel x Tom of Finland Foundation Pride Capsule Collection" amplifies messages of freedom of expression, sexuality, and individuality.
The capsule collection includes genderless items such as T-shirts and denim, infused with the erotic and queer art held by Tom of Finland Foundation.

EXCLUSIVE WALLPAPER@LINE

Become a friend of Diesel’s official LINE during the exhibition and receive a limited edition wallpaper for the FORTY YEARS OF PRIDE exhibition.


Download period: 2024.7.12(Fri) - 8.14(Wed) 


GET WALLPAPER
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Exhibition goods will be available at the gallery and online.

ONLINE STORE

INFORMATION

Title: FORTY YEARS OF PRIDE

Artist: Tom of Finland and firends

Dates: 2024.7.12(Fri) - 8.14(Wed)

Location: DIESEL ART GALLERY

Address: cocoti B1F, 1-23-16, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 

Tel: 03-6427-5955

Hours: 11:30-20:00 

Admission: Free

Support: Donkey Hotel Ltd. / Peachy Kings / Be Rise Co., Ltd. / Horiuchi Color Co., Ltd. / AKIHIRO NAKAMURA FRAME OF MIND

Nominal support by the Embassy of Finland, Japan

Web: https://www.diesel.co.jp/ja/art-gallery/tom_of_finland_foundation-en

Online Store: https://dieselartgallery.stores.jp

X: https://twitter.com/dieselart

Hashtag: #tomoffinlandfoundation #toff40 #dieselartgallery


*This exhibition includes works that contain sexually explicit material. Although these works reflect various aspects of contemporary society, we ask that those who are uncomfortable with this be aware of it prior to entering the exhibition. In addition, the gallery staff will conduct ID checks for the VR work, and those under 18 years of age will not be allowed to view it.

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