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
Diego Rivera crossed cultural lines: Mexican and American, artist and activist, creator and observer. His 1931 mural The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City, in his namesake art-school gallery, deliberately plays visual tricks, depicting painters in the act of creating a fresco. Look carefully to find Mr. Frida Kahlo himself, sitting on a bit of painted scaffolding and surveying his work with his back to the viewer. Its a great backdrop to Transcultural Circumstances, a new show that deals with the tensions inherent in cultural cross-pollination. Artists Cat U-Thasoonthorn, Douglas Yee, and Pallavi Govindnathan integrate their personal experiences in straddling cultures. Govindnathan uses her drawings, photography, and video to question the prejudice often entrenched in religion, with a particular focus on current events in India, while U-Thasoonthorn reanimates desolate urban space with neon and incandescent light in her sculptures and installation art. Round out your own cultural investigations at the Aug. 30 opening when Amanda Lacro and Kelsi Auday embody the themes of the show in dance, and the Willard Lacro Quartet provides a live jazz soundtrack.
Aug. 29-Sept. 2, 9 a.m., 2011