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
We have a mild obsession with the word "encaustic." It makes us think of chewed gum, toxic chemicals, and stinging snot. We have active imaginations. But so does Sono Osato, who uses encaustic a thicker, rubberier version of paint, sort of in her paintings. She also uses asphalt on her canvases is it a painting if it has roadway on it? Theres no asphalt at her new show, "Babylon: The Buried Language Series," but there is plenty of her other signature sculptural element: weird metal crap. Especially typewriter parts, which are incisive when you're thinking about lost languages and hoping to use sticky tentacle goop to maybe recapture parts of them. In the large-scale pieces here, little rusty hieroglyphs peer through no another and through sheets of opaque and often alarmingly colored frozen drips. Like language.
March 5-May 2, 2009