Henzel Studio launches a new chapter of their production with a tribute to artist Tom of Finland.
The collection, which is launching at Colette this week, opens a new frontier for the Swedish rug maker. Following last year’s impressive range of high profile artist collaborations, which included rugs by Richard Prince, Linder and Mickalene Thomas, the brand is now debuting an ongoing series of partnerships with artists’ foundations to bring a wide variety of 20th century works to life under the Henzel Studio Heritage umbrella.
Combining the best craftsmanship and latest weaving techniques, the rugs will showcase a selection of the artist’s vast production of homoerotic line drawings in great detail.
The collection includes one freeform hand knotted rug and twelve tufted rugs, made of New Zealand wool and silk and intricately woven to reproduce the drawings in great details. A set of three pillows completes the range.
The collection is inspired by the unique environment that is Tom’s own home in Echo Park, Los Angeles (W* 188). Now home of the Tom of Finland Foundation, the house offers a vivid picture of the artist’s world: rooms have been left intact and include a vast array of sketches, collected images and objects that center around a theme of homoerotic sexuality and the male body.
One of the artist’s most iconic pieces, a 1978 portrait of a policeman, is the subject of the hand knotted rug (woven over a 5-month period) which includes subtle manufacturing touches such as the silk embroidery that enhances the black leather effect on the hat. The rest of the collection depicts various sexual and sensual scenes from Tom of Finland’s sketches, many of which have never been seen before. Curator Joakim Andreasson worked on the three pillows, creating unique collages from Tom of Finland’s collected imagery he found in the house.
The range offers a new perspective on Tom of Finland’s works and their modernity, affirming the artist’s great relevance in art and design today.