Circus of Books West Hollywood, located at 8230 Santa Monica Boulevard, is hosting an in-person art exhibition and online action of The Stompers NYC Gallery – Louis Weingarden Collection. The showing will run from November 1 – December 15, 2023, with an Online action running from December 1 – 15, 2023.
In downtown New York City, the decisive arena for artistic exposure for Tom of Finland and the whole community of artists around him was Louis Weingarden’s gallery, Stompers which operated from 1978 to 1989.
Stompers was a used boot shop, run by Weingarden, with a backspace that functioned as an art gallery. The place was one of the first addresses (259 W. 4th) in town which exhibited artworks of erotic subject matter.Stomper’s held exhibits for several of the most influential artists of its time including; Tom of Finland, Etienne, Rex, Domino, the Hun, and countless others.
Tragically the gallery closed after both Louis and his partner died from AIDS.
After his death in 1989, the collection was stored and has not been seen again until this past summer, 34 years later.
Tom of Finland had one of his first USA shows at Stompers alongside his good friend and fellow artist Etienne.
The event drew attention from men around the country and led Tom and Louis to publish the Tom of Finland – Stomper Gallery Set One.
These were 4 oversized prints inserted into a black non-descriptive folder. They sold out in a short period and are still sought after today by both museums and collectors worldwide.
Both the exhibit and the auction have Set One and just as rare, Domino Set Two, available for purchase all items signed and numbered. The auction features 2 additional extremely rare sets including AJ Epstein Set Three and Blade Set Four.
Another featured artist in both the exhibit and auction is Chuck Arnett.
Arnett became famous in 1964 when a mural he painted for legendary leather bar The Tool Box in San Francisco was featured in an article by Life Magazine in June of 1964.
Most of his drawings are held in museums and archives and owning an original piece of his art has eluded most collectors. With over 20 original pieces – many smaller in size, this exhibit offers a unique chance to own a piece of art from one of the most influential gay artists not just of San Francisco, but the world.
Other artists in this collection include the artists and studios of Paul Cadmus, Jim French, Domino, Rex, Blade, Brick, A Jay, The Hun, Etienne, Martin of Holland, AJ Epstein, Sean, Bob Mizer, Bruce of LA, AMG, Target, Falcon, and Colt Studios artists Valentine and Jakal.
There are also several other pieces by artists that are unknown or cannot be traced to a specific person.
These pieces are a testament to the growing number of artists willing to show their work and sell in a public venue, as up to that time it was still not legal to sell, transport, or own Gay erotica in many states of the United States.
These pieces represent artists from the 70s and early 80s, many depicting a pre-aids sexual lifestyle.
To access auction: www.circusofbooks/collections/
For more information contact: [email protected]