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
We were recently surprised to learn that, while print and e-book publishing lan- guishes, audiobooks do better and better with every passing year. (Downloads in 2015 were up 38 percent over 2014.) We like to imagine that it’s the allure of the well-trained dramaturge that makes emotional connections while leaving some- thing to the listener’s imagination — not background noise for long commutes. In such a case, there can be no finer pleasure than a staged reading by longtime favorites Word for Word, a company that has brought countless short stories from page to stage, including “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, “The Fall River Axe Murders” by Angela Carter, “Berenice” by Edgar Allan Poe, and “The Bunch- grass Edge of the World” by Annie Proulx. During “Off the Page,” devotees help the company massage prose into parts, and sometimes, as was the case with Al- ice Munro’s work, choose the next story for production. Tonight, the actors ap- proach short fiction from Jamie Quatro’s highly lauded IWanttoShowYou More, which explores faith, (in)fidelity, and family along the border between Georgia and Tennessee.More
A storytelling night with Carnie Asada, Profundity, Coco Buttah, Mahlae Balenciaga, Greg der Ananian, and Fauxnique, celebrates Shark Week with accounts of dangerous, deadly, and treacherous creatures.More
Be there when Cara Black discusses her new book: Murder on the Quai. Aimee Leduc is in her first year of college at Paris's preeminent medical school. But Aimee's world is crumbling: her boyfriend is leaving her, her father leaves for Berlin for a mysterious errand and asks Aimee to look after his detective agency. She begins to investigate a murder. A book sale by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library follows the event.More
When the San Francisco Arts Commission wanted someone to dress up City Hall for the building's 100th anniversary last year, and become the structure's first artist-in-residence, it took a leap of faith by choosing Jeremy Fish.
A fascinating, deftly layered look at the complex intersections of art and charity, reality and perception, Waste Land follows celebrated New York artist Vik Muniz back to his native Brazil, where he'll work with outer Rio garbage-pickers on an ambitious art project. Ostensibly called to "give back" to the impoverished region from whence he came after the magnanimous collaboration, the plan is to auction off the art as a fundraiser Muniz finds that the individual lives he encounters are far more complex than the morbid hordes he'd expected. These "catadores" aren't faceless bottom-feeders but proud laborers who've chosen the dirty job of hand-recycling over drug-trafficking and prostitution. Fast becoming one of today's most adventurous and empathetic documentarians, director Lucy Walker (Countdown to Zero, Blindsight) wisely keeps the film several paces removed from Muniz, whether to capture footage that falls beyond the artist's scope or to subtly critique both the art and filmmaking processes. From a studio in New York, Muniz and Walker plot a story, and then at massive landfill Jardim Gramacho, we see how they select characters to represent it. It's to their credit that the story adapts to these fiercely human characters, and that Muniz honestly contemplates his irresolvable, Slumdog Millionairelike quandary of intervention. The resultant art and film are uncommonly moving, but Walker keeps an eye on the messy pile of life that looms beyond the frame.
Dec. 29-Jan. 1, 2010