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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Richard Hawkins on the Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland Show at MOCA


WATCH Richard Hawkins: Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland a day before it premieres on MOCAtv!!  It is a very insightful video narrated by co-curator, and acclaimed artist in his own right, Richard Hawkins.  Hawkins holds a special place in my heart as he was the first major artist I helped out in a gallerina capacity back in my NYC days.  Congrats Richard, Bob Mizer and Tom of Finland on a wonderful exhibition and new MOCAtv video!

Richard Hawkins: Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland

Artist Richard Hawkins tours Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland, the first American museum exhibition devoted to the art of Mizer (1922-1992) and Touko Laaksonen, a.k.a. “Tom of Finland” (1920-1991), at MOCA Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. Hawkins, who guest co-curated the exhibition with MOCA Curator Bennett Simpson, examines selections from the first-ever presentation of catalogue boards of Mizer’s Athletic Model Guild studios, which to him are enthusiastic celebrations of everyday youth and beauty, as well as Tom of Finland’s pencil drawings and pen-and-ink illustrations of radical sexuality. As an artist who has produced collage work, Hawkins pays particular attention to Finland’s collage binders, which appear to investigate icons of popular culture for their innate “hotness.” In light of the sexual freedoms still denied in Russia, the “titillating, thrilling and sex-positive” work created by Mizer and Tom of Finland decades ago remains as relevant today.

Paper Tricks: Richard Hawkins on Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland

Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland, currently on view at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, is the first American museum exhibition devoted to the art of Bob Mizer (1922–1992) and Touko Laaksonen, aka “Tom of Finland” (1920–1991), two of the most significant figures of twentieth century erotic art and forefathers of an emergent post-war gay culture. The exhibition features a selection of Tom of Finland’s masterful drawings and collages, alongside Mizer’s rarely seen photo-collage “catalogue boards” and films, as well as a comprehensive collection of his groundbreaking magazine Physique Pictorial, where drawings by Tom were first published in 1957. Organized by MOCA Curator Bennett Simpson and guest co-curator Richard Hawkins, the exhibition is presented with the full collaboration of the Bob Mizer Foundation, El Cerrito, and the Tom of Finland Foundation, Los Angeles.

Richard Hawkins
Richard Hawkins (b. 1961, Mexia Texas) is an artist and writer living in Los Angeles. He is represented by Corvi-Mora, London; Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Berlin and Koln; Greene-Naftali, New York and Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles. His first book of fiction, “Fragile Flowers”, was released by Les Presses du Reel in Fall 2013. In October 2013, he premiered his first solo French museum presentation, “glimmer”, at Le Consortium Dijon and in 2012 he was a Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy, Berlin. Upcoming, Hawkins’s butoh-inspired collages will be the focus of a solo exhibition at Tate Liverpool, “Hijikata Twist”, curated by Darren Pih. His research into the Los Angeles painter Tony Greene will be shown at the 2014 Whitney Biennial in an exhibition co-curated with Catherine Opie.

About MOCAtv
MOCAtv, which launched October 1, 2012, is an online contemporary art video channel, and a digital extension of the education and exhibition program of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). MOCAtv is the first and only dedicated art channel to be part of YouTube’s original channel initiative announced October 2011, and one of fourteen new, original channels that make up YouTube Education, a collection of more than 700,000 videos on a wide range of educational topics from math to science, history to geography. MOCA is the first contemporary art museum to associate with a major media company in an online video-programming venture of this scale, and the channel features curated, original and acquired videos to inform, educate and engage the global, online audience about contemporary art and its intersection with film, video, music, performance, dance, music, comedy, and more. MOCAtv currently has over 6 million video views and 160,000 subscribers.

Bob Mizer & Tom of Finland. Organized by MOCA Curator Bennett Simpson and Guest Co-Curator Richard Hawkins. MOCA Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Avenue, West Holywood, CA 90069. November 2 – January 26, 2014.

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