Tom of Finland to appear on stamps in September


Stamps will also feature watercolors, bridges, everyday life and Christmas

In September-October 2014, Itella Posti will release seven new sets of stamps, containing a total of 33 new designs. It is a great collection to choose from; the subjects of the new stamps include male drawings by Tom of Finland, autumnal yard and garden scenes painted by Urpo Martikainen, and Jaakko Tähti's photos of Finnish bridges. Other subjects for the end-of-the-year stamps include signs of sky and the change in everyday Finland - and, of course, Christmas.

Confident and proud homoeroticism

The autumn's stamp series begins September 8 with Tom of Finland, who is considered one of the most well-known Finnish artists around the world. His emphatically masculine homoerotic drawings have attained iconic status in their genre and had an influence on, for instance, pop culture and fashion. In his works, Tom of Finland utilized the self-irony and humor typical of subcultures.

During his career, Tom of Finland produced more than 3,500 drawings. The two drawings on the stamp sheet were selected by graphic artist Timo Berry, who designed the stamp, and Susanna Luoto, the Finnish representative of the foundation named after Tom of Finland operating in Los Angeles.

The drawings on the stamp sheet represent strong and confident male figures typical of their designer. "The sheet portrays a sensual life force and being proud of oneself. There is never too much of that in this northern country," says Timo Berry. The miniature sheet contains three 1st class self-adhesive stamps.

The artist behind Tom of Finland was Touko Laaksonen (1920-1991), whose profile is extended in the exhibition Sealed with a Secret - Correspondence of Tom of Finland opening in the Postal Museum September 6.  The exhibition will display the busy correspondence of Laaksonen from the early 1940s to his dying year, 1991. The exhibition will be displayed until March 29, 2015, in Museum Centre Vapriikki in the new Postal Museum to be opened in Tampere in September.

Autumnal yards and gardens and modifiable signs of the sky

This year, the traditional autumnal stamps released by Itella Posti Oy will depict nostalgic Finnish yards and gardens in, for instance, Mikkeli. The stamps are the work of Urpo Martikainen, who many know as an anchorman and whose watercolors are the basis of the stamps. The self-adhesive booklet, only the size of a credit card, contains four 1st class stamps.

In September, a playful booklet of stamps depicting different signs of the sky will also be released. The booklet, containing eight 1st class self-adhesive stamps in different sizes and shapes, designed by graphic artist Nina Rintala, portray, for instance, planets, a shooting star, the sun, clouds and a rainbow. In addition to stamps, the booklet contains tens of tiny stickers to modify the postal item to your liking.

Changes in everyday Finland, traditional Christmas and bridge scenes

In October, Itella Posti Oy will continue its series of stamps to mark the centennial year of Finnish independence to be celebrated in 2017. The six 1st class self-adhesive stamps in a booklet, designed by graphic artist Sami Saramäki, depict the changing everyday life in Finland, influenced after the war by, for instance, migration, developing technology and globalization.

The October releases also include a 100-piece roll of stamps whose 10 different 1st class stamps present bridges and waters. The self-adhesive stamps are based on Finnish bridges in different times of the year and day, photographed by Jaakko Tähti.

This year, the traditional Christmas stamps are the work of renowned, award-winning book illustrator Kristina Segercrantz. The pictures of the two self-adhesive stamps show the adventures of an elf girl with braided hair and a reindeer friend. The graphic design of the Christmas stamps comes from Olavi Hankimo.

Itella Posti Oy will be publishing the Christmas stamps and other stamps to be released in October at the opening of the Helsinki Book Fair at Messukeskus on Thursday, October 23.

Image material for the media

Postage stamp release program September-October 2014 (PDF)

Tom of Finland erhält im September eigene Briefmarken (PDF)
Briefmarken-Ausgabeprogramm September–Oktober 2014 (PDF)

All stamps available for sale are featured in Posti's online shop.