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
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.
If you own anything made of velvet, you probably wonder: When should I attend the ballet? Drama queen, snobby freak, twee boy, corset girl, vintage clothing owner the San Francisco Ballet's production of Swan Lake is for you. It is time to attend the ballet now. Do not bar any holds with your outfit for tonight, diva, because this full-length story ballet is wildly lavish of set and costume, is danced by our own international-grade cygnets, and is a rare manifestation of all three acts. And Tchaikovsky gets a bad rap it isn't his fault that the music from The Nutcracker makes everyone homicidal now, and this score is massively gorgeous. Besides, artistic director Helgi Tomasson's new choreography in last year's Lake had dance critics shrieking with injured classicism, and you cannot pay for that kind of drama. Everyone loved what he did with the corps de ballet, though, and as long as he keeps Odile's epic and nearly impossible 32 fouettés en tournant (made famous by Pierina Legnani in 1895) in there somewhere, it's on.
Jan. 29-31, 8 p.m., 2010