Icons: Tom of Finland and Eero Aarnio
Helsinki is hosting retrospectives on two cultural icons at the same time. Tom of Finland's homoerotic male figures in their leather gear, and designer Eero Aarnio's plastic chairs like the Ball are recognised around the world. Both exhibitions zoom into the life work of these two creatives, deeper than ever before.
The Tom of Finland exhibition held at Helsinki's oldest art exhibition space, the Kunsthalle, features bold and humoristic portrayals of love between men. While running a day job in an advertisement agency, Tom of Finland - or, Touko Laaksonen - drew plenty of inspiration from magazine clippings. The collection of titbits is seen here alongside rare oil paintings of landscapes from the 1930s.
The Design Museum's Eero Aarnio exhibition showcases the most central objects in the designer's work, and also offers a peek into the less-known side of the design process - with glimpses from both the designer's desk as well as fromfactory production lines. Rare items include the factory mould of the Ball Chair. The exhibition has been composed in a playful and experimental manner: the colourful pieces of furniture travel in the space with the help of robotics.