Tom of Finland is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century’s most influential artists for his groundbreaking representation of the male figure. By day he crafted campaigns of happy heterosexual couples buying soft drinks and laundry detergent for advertising. By night, he was otherwise occupied. Bulging muscles. Throbbing members. Motorcycles. Gay pride.
Any time a stylist puts a young pop star in a leather biker cap for a magazine shoot, the impact of Tom of Finland is not far off. Tom's influence can be seen among designers today, with the iconic sailor and leather clad men on the recycled tote bag.