los-angeles

Tom of Finland

Mark Moore Gallery

One of the surer signs of life’s imitating art would be gay men’s “’70s clone” deportment (T-shirt, tight jeans, bushy mustache, etc.) revisited by ’80s and ’90s gym queens—“types” that might be traced as far back as the loving exaggerations of ’50s amateur bodybuilders (in underground ’zines like Bob Mizer’s Physique Pictorial) by Tom of Finland, whose pencil, pen, and ink, almost magically, shaped and still shapes, for better or worse, much faggot flesh.

This retrospective of Finland’s oeuvre spanned tender-hearted gouaches from as early as 1946 through graphite works from the “Titeaters” series finished in 1987, revealing his project to have been documentation of the thinglike, more precisely noun-like aspects of the male body and the gear with which it makes itself known: beard, torso, pectoral, fist, cock, balls, butt, hip huggers, boots, bomber jackets, short shorts, military and

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