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
Food festivals, street fairs, and giant white commemorative T-shirts are all effective ways to celebrate the neighborhoods of San Francisco, but an art show is capable of collecting so much more feeling. With more than 20 local artists with widely varied styles, the Neighborhood SF exhibit, curated by Ryan Malley and Martin Olive, reflects the diversity of the areas the artists represent. Sylvia Ji illustrates beautiful ladies engaged in local pastimes such as lesbianism and possessing a face covered in Day of the Dead paint. Her unique style (lets go with Varga Girl meets chola in an Art Deco blender) is one of many on tap to help you tour the city while staying put in a great gallery with a full bar. Matt Furie brings psychedelic images and an installation to honor the Haight, Jeremy Fish pays homage to North Beach, and Coro turns a low-watt bulb on the shadows of the Tenderloin. Mike Giant, Jay Howell, Nate Van Dyke, and many more contribute, and several will have inexpensive prints for sale. And in true local style, City Light and DJs Nick Andre and E Da Boss keep the party vital on opening night.
Sept. 3-26, 2009