While they often presented themselves as bodybuilders’ publications, their chuckle-prompting titles — Torso, Adonis, Honcho, Mandate — didn’t lie. Gay men’s magazines of decades past were bought by gay men who wanted to look at the erotic illustrations of well- built male bodies therein. Because any- one known to possess such material in the homophobic 1950s and 1960s could experience serious consequences, men hid the magazines under their mat- tresses. These illustrations have now inspired a traveling exhibition, Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall. Curated by notable erotic artist Robert W. Richards and orig- inating at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the popular show contains 24 original illustrations that ap- peared in gay magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. It also looks at how gay men, forced into the closet during those decades, used these pictures to explore their sexuality intimately. It additionally serves as a showcase for the artists in- volved. On view are works by two dozen top artists of the times, including Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland), Antonio Lopez (Antonio), and David Martin.More
Nothing caps off a nice day at the beach like a mouthful of sand — especially if the grit in your teeth is the reward for the grit required to splay flat-out on your stomach, for the prize of a plastic disc in your hand, and all the glory that comes along with it.
The groundbreaking painter, writer, and performance artist Brion Gysin was, above all, a seeker. A close friend of William Burroughs, Gysin explored the outer edge of human consciousness, with and without artificial stimulants. (His last words, in 1986, were, Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.) Nik Sheehans fascinating film FLicKeR, the first hit of the month-long series The Stoned Apocalypse, revives Gysins spark and spirit and, centrally, the all-natural trip launcher he co-invented and dubbed the Dreamachine. This simple piece of machinery, consisting of a silver cylinder with bits cut out spinning around an incandescent bulb, triggers eyes-closed, color-laden visions through the magic of light stimulation. Or so attests a thoughtful cadre of veteran trippers, including Marianne Faithfull, Iggy Pop, and DJ Spooky. The rare documentary that jumps beyond informative and entertaining into the realm of mind-expanding, FLicKeR blends revelatory biography, energizing philosophy, and seductive trances. Accompanying his films U.S. premiere, the Canadian director plans to show off a newly designed dream machine. Captain Nik will get you high tonight if he gets it through Customs.
Thu., Aug. 7, 7:30 p.m., 2008