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
This year, Disney announced plans to revive the magical, majestical, supercali- fragilistical title character of Mary Poppins. We can’t find too much fault with the choice of Emily Blunt in the starring role, and we are pleased that this won’t be a “reimagining” of P.L. Travers’ original tale. (Travers wrote many more adventures for her English governess, so there’s plenty of material to draw upon.) Still, even if the composers are Hairspray’s Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and they have elicited the support of at least half of the Sherman Brothers who wrote “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” we have a difficult time imagining a movie that can compete in our child brain with the five-time Oscar winner. Granted, Dick Van Dyke’s cockney accent left a lot to be desired, and maybe the movie does take its own sweet time getting started — to say nothing of those interminable penguins — but we’ve done some internal editing, leaving nothing but a sweet aftertaste that, during this month’s “Wine Down with a Movie,” might be accompanied by free tipples of Domaine Chan- don.More
The symmetry of a dew-laden spiderweb. The whorls and lines etched into your skin. The swirling clouds of gas and dust being pushed out from a distant supernova. The universe is full of some heart-stoppingly beautiful visuals. Science is ever making new discoveries too, though as any researcher can tell you, sometimes it's the accidents that lead you to uncover the next big revelation. Art can work the same way. The exhibition "Permutation Unfolding" brings together a group of artists using this type of intuitive process in their practice and focuses on the biological shapes that often result. Sandra Ono starts with the most utilitarian of materials (rubber bands, dental floss, nail polish) but transforms them into wonderfully eerie sculptures that look like they could have crawled up onto their plinths all on their own. Peter Foucault's Embryo ink drawing appears similarly organic with hundreds of lines forming into an urchin-like creature that was actually created partly with the help of an audience and sound-activated robots. Meanwhile Tobias Tovera relinquishes some control to chemical reactions themselves, dissolving iron and adding pigment until the shapes that resolve look like they are straight out of one of those exploding supernovae. These artists don't fear accidents and instead use them to mesmerizing effect.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Starts: March 6. Continues through March 23, 2013