While most in the BDSM world are familiar with the work of celebrated fetish artist Tom of Finland, few know of his younger brother, Tom of Sweden. The two grew up together in Oslo, Norway before embarking on separate journeys, taking one to Finland and the other to neighboring Sweden.
While in Finland, the elder brother developed a unique style that would shape and define a generation of fetish art, particularly for the gay leather community.
In Sweden, the lesser known brother never found success, due primarily to his severe drug and alcohol abuse problems, coupled with a complete lack of artistic talent and mania fueled by what friend called “sibling rivalry that rose to the level of clinical insanity.”
It wasn’t until late in life that Tom of Sweden turned to stick figure drawings, which often took his older brother as the subject and would contain mocking commentary. Widely considered his masterpiece, the stick figure drawing “Look at Me, I Think I am Better than Everyone Else Because I Draw Gay Pictures” fetched more $200 at a local auction and swap meet. The drawing shows a man with a large pot belly waving his arms and shouting the title phrase, which appears to be sloppily written across the top in human feces.
Art critics have described the younger artists work as “completely worthless” and “not really art in any sense of the word” leading to a renewed interest in his work.