Two artists celebrated for their iconic, homoerotic imagery honored in their first museum exhibit.
MOCA at West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center is home to the first American museum exhibit focusing on Bob Mizer and Tom of Finland. Both these artists, whose careers started in the 1940s, are renowned for their iconic, homoerotic photos and artwork. Tom of Finland, aka Touko Laaksonen, helped manifest gay leather culture. For decades he drew images depicting unabashedly gay versions of our most masculine heterosexual archetypes - cops, bikers, sailors, lumberjacks, and cowboys – inspiring numerous gay men who adopted those looks for themselves. Meanwhile, photographer Bob Mizer founded the Athletic Model Guild in 1945, a film and photo studio whose mission was apparently to document as many good-looking boy-next-door types as possible in erotic scenarios such as prison dramas, sci-fi pictures, and domesticated bachelor scenes. Discover the impact these two artists made on American culture during a time when homosexuality was a crime. This show includes 75 Tom of Finland drawings, his graphic novels, and Tom's never-before-seen scrapbook collages, along with a selection of Mizer’s films, a plethora of magazines featuring his photos, and more.