Tom of Finland Foundation Announces Winner of 10th Annual Emerging Artist Competition

Also honored are LGBTQ+ icons Bruce LaBruce, Annie Sprinkle, and Dan Savage.

In honor of the centennial of artist Tom of Finland’s birth and his titular foundation’s 36th anniversary, winners were announced in the 10th Tom of Finland Emerging Artist Competition.

The annual competition — intended to encourage artists to share erotic work — is open to any non-commercial artist. This year’s prize went to New Zealand’s Mr. Gruts for “Country Club,” with his victory announced during the online Arts & Culture Festival. The selection was made by a panel of judges comprised of Jonathan Anderson, Seth Bogart, Nao Bustamante, Matt Lambert, Felipe Meres, Silvia Prada, Martin Sorrondeguy (Martin Crudo), and Russell Tovey and Robert Diament.


Several LGBTQ+ icons were also honored during the ceremony: They included filmmaker, photographer, writer, and artist Bruce LaBruce (Artist Hall of Fame); performance artist Annie Sprinkle (Lifetime Achievement Award); and columnist Dan Savage (Cultural Icon).

“Like Tom, in a way, my work has always been very sexually explicit,” Savage said in a recorded acceptance speech. “I’ve always tried to meet people where they are and have an honest and fun and playful and explicit conversation about sex. [And] to see the work that the Tom of Finland Foundation has done since it branched out from the important job of preserving and promoting Tom’s work to promoting and helping to create works by queer artists is really inspiring.”

To see the winning entry and all finalists, visit TomOfFinland.org. And to watch acceptance speeches from LaBruce, Sprinkle, and Savage, click here.

Mark Peikert
About Mark Peikert More Articles
Previously editor-in-chief of Playbill, Backstage, and New York Press, Mark Peikert is a content creator with over 15 years of experience in publishing. In addition to his editorial work, he's also a popular moderator who has shared the stage with everyone from Angelina Jolie and Julianne Moore to John Mulaney and Tituss Burgess. Not at the same time.
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