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
For someone who lives in the downtown corridor — all right, the Tenderloin — the idea of going to Ocean Beach for pizza is rife with potential pratfalls: high Uber fares, lengthy Muni trips, ever-present fog, jet lag.
It's the end of the world, and it sure looks bleak and irritating in playwright Jennifer Williams' "apocalyptic tragi-comedy," set in a future postwar America. In a bombed-out apartment complex (a set that looks as if it were cobbled together from a garbage dump), three displaced neighbors wallow in their paranoia and depression and try vainly to connect with one another. The Insomniac (Linda Ayres-Frederick) shuffles around in a dingy robe, shouting conspiracy theories, while next door the Singer (Lisa Marie Newton) belts out slow jazz classics and dances with a hammer. Meanwhile, upstairs, Man on the Top Floor dances with a framed photograph of his mother, rubs it on his ass, and then smashes it. It's a strange world filled with cartoony characters yelling loudly and banging around. Video projections of a televangelist/newscaster pop up here and there, spewing government propaganda and promoting a contest to be the "new face of God." With lines like, "We live alone and die alone, and when we're gone others will live here and do the same," Williams seems intent on creating a Beckettlike existential wasteland, but the final product feels underdeveloped and nebulous.