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
With neighborhood institutions like the 21 Club closing to make way for yuppie cocktail bars, Brown Jug remains an oasis — and one that takes full advantage of the state's operating hours window, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.
Last year, artist Takashi Murakami erected a Louis Vuitton shop in the middle of Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. It caused something of an uproar. Art critic Lee Rosenbaum said that the shop co-opts museums as shameless corporate marketing tools. The New Yorkers Peter Schjeldahl, however, thought it provided a haven from the strident grotesquerie of what might be termed Murakamis fine-art product lines. Despite the divergent opinions about Murakamis show, theres no disputing that its becoming increasingly fashionable to blend boutique commerce and art galleries. The "Mini Market" pop-up store is a fine example of the trend. Gallery owner Jessica Silverman invited fashionista Carolina Amaris to curate all kinds of desirables, including vintage Vivienne Westwood garments; jewelry by Todd Sensoli and Giles & Brother; and the kitsch-a-riffic zebra-striped bodybuilding pants known as Zubaz. Silverman describes "Mini Market" as a concept shop, so the merchandise may rotate, but the artsy aesthetic remains. Catch it tonight before it transforms back into plywood. There will be fresh local food catered by Keiko Takano, nail painting by Beauty Bar grad Tanya Wischerath, and homemade tarot by Jessica Miller.
Aug. 22-30, 2008