Tucked behind a monumental Eugenia hedge on a street of modest bungalows and apartment houses in the rapidly gentrifying Los Angeles neighborhood of Echo Park is one of the gay world’s most idiosyncratic and authentic historical sites. Known officially as Tom House (or the Tom of Finland House), it is the place where the revolutionary Finnish homoerotic artist Touko Laaksonen (1920 -1991) lived and worked for much of the last decade of his life.
1421 Laveta Terrace, now home to the Tom of Finland Foundation and the men who administer it, has now been immortalized in Tom House, a new hardcover imprint from Rizzoli. The vision of ingenious creative director Michael Reynolds, the book combines interior photographs from revelatory photographer Martyn Thompson, words from essayist, journalist and design authority Mayer Rus and unpublished preparatory sketches and drawings by Tom himself. The result is an experience that celebrates Tom’s work and life in an entirely new light, inviting readers to explore a hidden world of dreams and desire—the world of Tom of Finland.
Pictured: Tom of Finland, prepatory drawing #0165, graphite on paper
© Tom of Finland Foundation