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
In 2013, when Catharine Clark moved her eponymous gallery from 49 Geary to the Potrero Hill area, she gave herself more room to work with, including a dedicated media space that has shown indelible work by such artists as Shalo P ("The Bedroom Suite"), Nina Katchadourian ("In a Room Full of Strangers"), and Andy Diaz Hope and Jon Bernson ("Beautification Machines").
Clem Snide frontman Eef Barzelay has always been a decent singer/ songwriter -- you know, the kind who turns a nice phrase, plucks a pretty melody, and warbles in a mournful tone that gets his tunes placed on many a lovesick mix CD. With his band's fifth LP, however, Barzelay has made a quantum leap forward, approaching the ranks of clever eggs like John Prine and Loudon Wainwright. More than ever, he's showing off his fractured funny bone, writing about singing pedophiles, disgruntled Jews for Jesus, hipster girls who aren't as weird as they think, and -- in the most bizarre instance -- Lucille Ball. This isn't a Jack Black yukfest, though; instead, all the jokes serve to add depth and character to the songs (much like the banjo, vibe, and piano colorings do to the pretty guitars). Many are pretty dark -- "If you've never seen a bullfight/ Guess who always wins," Barzelay observes at one point -- but that's just the kind of court jester the altcountry scene needs.