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 don't often go out of our way for restrooms, but in the case of Macy's sixth-floor ladies room (sorry guys: you'll just have to make do with having everything else), all who pass through its doors will understand why it's worth the effort.
The Tenderloin was set to lose another irreplaceable when the Ha-Ra Club — a low-ceilinged dive of the slummiest reputation, long fallen into neglect, but nevertheless beloved for strong pours, idiosyncratic bartenders, and a long history — was taken over by the crew who run Ace's and Dobbs Ferry.
It might seem like an odd time to release a novel that includes a fictionalized narrative by Kim Jong-Il, seeing that North Korea’s self-described “Dear Leader” recently died. Then again, maybe it’s the best time. Kim’s shadow will long hang over the people he ruled, and it will continue to loom large in the Western imagination, considering North Korea is such a secretive nation that’s also a nuclear threat — and the little we know about Kim points to his being a fabulously bizarre individual. Fortunately, Adam Johnson is a nuanced and generous author with an understated wit, and his debut novel, The Orphan Master’s Son, will probably enjoy a longer life than the dictator. Inspired by research for Johnson’s unfinished satirical short story “The Best North Korean Short Story of 2005,” The Orphan Master’s Son follows the life of Jun Do, an average North Korean who serves in a work camp and as a state-sanctioned kidnapper. He impersonates a government minister while evading the ever-present threat of execution. Demonstrating a literary playfulness that recalls David Mitchell, The Orphan Master’s Son interweaves Jun Do’s story and the official account of Kim Jong-Il and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Johnson traveled to North Korea to research the novel, giving The Orphan Master’s Son verisimilitude and offering Western readers a rare glimpse into a world that remains isolated and strange.
Tue., Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m., 2012