TOM of FINLAND at PHD Gallery has closed, but you can still see the VIDEO TOUR…

Posted in Some Ideas... on August 10, 2011 by Philip Hitchcock

If you missed “TOM of FINLAND: Original Drawings” at PHD Gallery, (or you just want to see it again!) Take the 3 minute Video Tour!  The tour was produced by New Standard Creative Agency.  (Visit their web site here.)

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Iconic Art Meets St. Louis LGBT History…

Posted in Some Ideas... on August 10, 2011 by Philip Hitchcock

To commemorate the historic exhibition of TOM of FINLAND drawings at PHD Gallery, St. Louis LGBT History Project Founder Steven Brawley presents an Award of Recognition to PHD Gallery owner Philip Hitchcock, Mr. Midwest Leather 2010, for his efforts in bringing this landmark body of work to the St. Louis LGBT community. Champagne and hors d’oeuvres were served and the Sunday closing reception was very well attended.

Special Guest of the gallery was The St. Louis LGBT History Project whose members presented a selection of LGBT memorabilia from their archives.

“TOM of FINLAND: Original Drawings” at PHD Gallery…

Posted in Some Ideas... on July 20, 2011 by Philip Hitchcock

The landmark TOM of FINLAND exhibit at PHD Gallery continues to draw fans as the show enters its fourth week in St. Louis.  After a packed opening night on gay pride weekend, the exhibition, curated by Philip Hitchcock, is still attracting admirers of the erotic art icon Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland.  This exhibit is the first of its kind to go on view in St. Louis, and proceeds from sales and donations benefit The TOM of FINLAND Foundation.

There has been strong support from the media with items appearing in St. Louis Magazine, VITAL VOICE, Riverfront Times, SAUCE Magazine, ALIVE Magazine, and The St. Louis POST DISPATCH.

28 original graphite on paper drawings are on view at PHD Gallery until Sunday, August 7, 2011. At that time, the exhibit closes with a champagne reception from 1-3PM. The reception is free and open to the public.  Special Guest of the gallery is The St. Louis LGBT History Project whose members will present a selection of LGBT memorabilia from their archives. To commemorate the historic exhibition of TOM of FINLAND drawings, St. Louis LGBT History Project Founder Steven Brawley will present an Award of Recognition to PHD Gallery owner Philip Hitchcock for his efforts in bringing this landmark body of work to the St. Louis LGBT community. Champagne and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

TOM of FINLAND is Coming to St. Louis…

Posted in Some Ideas... on April 28, 2011 by Philip Hitchcock

IT’S OFFICIAL!!!  Through special arrangement with The Tom of Finland Foundation in Los Angeles and Feature Inc. in New York, PHD Gallery will exhibit 27 original graphite on paper drawings by Touko Laaksonen, aka TOM of FINLAND.  “TOM of FINLAND; Original Drawings”, opens June 25th at PHD Gallery and continues through August 6th.  It is the first EVER exhibition in St. Louis of ORIGINAL Tom of Finland drawings!!!  The opening reception is Saturday, June 25, 7-10PM.  Donations of $10 at the door will benefit The Tom of Finland Foundation.

Tom’s images of idealized masculinity are iconic but few people have seen anything other than reproductions proliferated on line.  The PHD exhibition will showcase 12 “finished” graphite on paper drawings (designated NFS) and 15 “preliminary drawings” that will be offered for sale.  Works culled from throughout his career will be on view.

If gay men have historically been portrayed as weak, pathetic, and sad individuals, then TOM’s drawings blew this stereotype out of the water!  His men were proud, happy and dignified.  They were powerful and unapologetic and gay men saw these hyper-masculine images as heroes.  Indeed, if you glance through comic books you’ll see the depiction of most Super Heroes is not unlike the men in TOM’s drawings:

“In those days, a gay man was made to feel nothing but shame about his feelings and his sexuality. I wanted my drawings to counteract that, to show gay men being happy and positive about who they were. Oh, I didn’t sit down to think this all out carefully. But I knew, right from the start, that my men were going to be proud and happy men!”

 ~ Tom of Finland

Tom’s drawings espoused an ideal in sexual prowess, and worldly empowerment for gay men that lasts even today.

U.S. Representative Russ Carnahan visits PHD Gallery…

Posted in Some Ideas... on April 3, 2011 by Philip Hitchcock

You’re not the only ones hearing the buzz about Cherokee Street… Last Thursday, March 24th, Congressman Carnahan had to see for himself! Shown here are Congressman Russ Carnahan and PHD Gallery owner Philip Hitchcock, flanked by Aldermen Craig Schmid and Ken Ortmann.

The finale to a great event…

Posted in Some Ideas... on March 1, 2011 by Philip Hitchcock

Mr. Midwest Leather Philip Hitchcock Gets Mr. Just John PLASTERED!

Hot Bods Immortalized for Charity!

St. Louis, MO, February 27, 2011:  Despite Oscar parties and tornadic winds of 70 miles per hour, leather and art lovers flocked to Just John Nightclub Sunday night to see the unveiling of the statue created by Mr. Midwest Leather, Philip Hitchcock.  Also on view and up for auction were the statues created live on stage two weeks earlier of the semi-finalists.

The highlight of the evening was the statue reveal of Mr. Just John Contest winner.  Hitchcock’s lifesize statue will be installed at the club and remain on view permanently.

Money from the auction of the three smaller statues combined with donations from the two previous events totaled nearly $2500., and will benefit Tom of Finland Foundation and a local St, Louis youth outreach group.

Mr. Midwest Leather and Artist Philip Hitchcock shown with the  statues of the semifinalists.

Gold painted contest winner (far left) marvels at the unveiled statue of himself created by Mr. Midwest Leather Philip Hitchcock.  Also pictured are the other living statues.

Installation shot of statue now on permanent view at Just John Nightclub.

Just John’s Statues Ready for Auction…

Posted in Some Ideas... on February 9, 2011 by Philip Hitchcock

From the VITAL VOICE by COLIN MURPHY

ST. LOUIS – Statues of the three semifinalists for the Mr. Just John’s competition have been completed with the chiseled bods going up for auction at The Grove hot spot (4112 Manchester) on Feb. 27 at 8 p.m.

On Jan. 16—Three men prevailed at the first-of-its-kind Mr. Just John’s competition and later had their bodies molded before a capacity crowd by artist and PHD Gallery owner, Philip Hitchcock (Mr. Midwest Leather).

Proceeds from the previous events and upcoming auction will be split between Growing American Youth and the Tom of Finland Foundation (a national gay art preservation group).

Celebrity Judges included Hitchcock, Tyler Hill of Pride St. Louis, Darin Slyman of Vital VOICE, and Jeff Small of News Channel 5 KSDK.