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
Nothing caps off a nice day at the beach like a mouthful of sand — especially if the grit in your teeth is the reward for the grit required to splay flat-out on your stomach, for the prize of a plastic disc in your hand, and all the glory that comes along with it.
Promo copy for performances of butoh, the ever-evolving, highly experimental Japanese dance form, can be notoriously vague. The human body, like a flower, sprouts to maximum splendor, to then decay into serene melancholy, leaving a purple trace, the sky at dawn or the beginning of dusk. So reads the summary for Butoh Dance: The Trace of Purple Sadness, a movement installation by New York butoh celebrities Shige Moriya and Ximena Garnica. But if admirers of the alternately strange and lovely body-based genre are left short on details for this rare S.F. appearance, Moriya and Garnicas reputations should bring them out. Curators of the New York Butoh Festival and founders of CAVE, Brooklyns longest running experimental art space, they are known internationally for their absorbing installations fusing video, dance, and improvised music. The Japanese-born Moriya is said to be a master at manipulating projected patterns of color, light, and landscape imagery. At 27, Garnica, originally from Colombia, has already nabbed the prestigious Van Lier Fellowship for young Hispanic directors working in the Big Apple. With credentials like these, the pair is bound to leave a lasting impression, decaying flowers or no.
Thu., Jan. 15, 7 p.m., 2009