Finland is celebrating one of its best-loved artists,Touko Laaksonen (a.k.a Tom of Finland), by putting his work on a postage stamp. The set of 3 first-class stamps commentating the work trailblazing illustrator who helped shape key aspects of the gay aesthetic will kick off an autumn-long release of 7 new sets of stamps from Posti, Finland’s version of the U.S.P.S.
According to the stamps’ designer, Timo Berry, the set “portrays a sensual life force and being proud of oneself.” This is somewhat unexpected from the Nordic country that has yet to legalize same-sex marriage and requires surgical sterilization before people can legally change their gender, sadly not unusual in Europe.
The Finnish Postal Musuem will also commemorate the illustrator with an exhibition of Laaksonen’s letters from the 1940s until his death in 1991. Sealed with a Secret - Correspondence of Tom of Finland opens this September and will run until late March of 2015.