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
Marilyn Pittman came from what she considered a normal Midwestern family. Her parents had been married 50 years. Her dad was a World War II veteran, and her mom was a poet whod edited her college yearbook. Pittman had become an educator at UC Berkeley, an NPR talent consultant, and a stand-up comic. Then, in 1997, everything she thought she knew about her family and, by extension, herself was shattered in 1997 by the murder-suicide of her mom and dad. Its All the Rage is the one-woman show where Pittman recounts her reaction to her parents death and where her questions led her. With the help of her mothers journals and her fathers letters, she was able to understand how a once-loving relationship gradually deteriorated into patterns of hate and fear. She also discovered that her fathers time in combat had a lot to do with his violent end. Pittman found parallels in veterans returning from todays wars in the Middle East, in the patters of domestic violence that often involve firearms. Pervasive violence was the common link between her familys tragedy, the tragedies suffered by others, and war in general. Hence the title, Its All the Rage.
Saturdays, Sundays. Starts: Nov. 6. Continues through Dec. 5, 2010