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 colder climes, nature is a force to be reckoned with. Mountain goats are well acquainted with this fundamental truth, especially lead Mountain Goat John Darnielle. The acclaimed lyricist and tunesmith warms our hearts with the world premiere of his new score in Sir Arnes Treasure with the Mountain Goats in Solo Performance. Mauritz Stiller's breathtaking 1919 silent film is set in the throes of a harsh and gorgeous Swedish winter. Three 16th-century Scottish mercenaries break out of prison, slaughter the elderly titular vicar and his family (with one notable female exception), and make off with the vicar's riches. Alas, their getaway route is blocked by a coldly indifferent Mother Nature, who has snared every ship in the grip of the frozen sea. The plot soon thickens along with the ice. Stuck for the season in the midst of understandably inhospitable locals, one of the soldiers takes a tumble with the sole survivor of his earlier brutality. A stark and ravishing melodrama, Sir Arnes Treasure blends greed, revenge, love, and betrayal into an intoxicating glug. With Darnielle adding a few ingredients of his own, keeping your balance may be a tricky proposition.
Tue., Dec. 14, 8 p.m., 2010