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
When a young gay flight attendant who isn't quite romantically involved with a Saudi prince vanishes during a terrorist bombing of a Hong Kong hotel, his sister must insert herself into a complex book plot to clear his name. So goes the sequence of events in The Moonlit Earth, the latest novel from Christopher Rice, who also wrote A Density of Souls (which, thanks to an outcast character named Stephen, garnered a sizable gay readership) and Snow Garden (with which the author simultaneously tried to shrug off the term gay author and took home a Lambda Literary Award). Rice has been taking readers on various storytelling thrill-rides for a decade now, creating serpentine plots usually involving dark secrets, sexuality, and murder. He also happens to be the son of poet Stan Rice and vampire queen (and eventual chronicler of the life of Jesus Christ) Anne Rice. Come hear Chri-Ri, steeped in a macabre literary legacy, read from his latest tangled web.
Mon., April 19, 7:30 p.m., 2010