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 the past five years, Frank Bruni was the chief restaurant critic for The New York Times, so you might expect that his memoir, Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater, would be filled with foodie confessions of a mild nature. Perhaps he never cared for spring rolls, for example. But Bruni delivers much spicier fare: When he was very young, for instance, he ate a hamburger, and wanted another. His mother gave him another. He wanted a third. His mother said no, fearing child abuse. So our future critic, in a burst of inspiration, vomited both burgers all over the kitchen, cleaning out the garage for more stuff, as it were. He was 18 months old. Bruni was a baby bulimic! He went on to battle his weight and eating disorders for years, from sleep eating and corner-store binging to laxative abuse and solo Chinese takeout all-night freakouts. Writing restaurant reviews for the Times may be a plum gig, but maybe Bruni earned it? Also revealed: He faked his author photo for his 2002 book about George W. Bush (Bruni used to be a well-placed political reporter before landing his food gig), making his face oddly angular and weird and not at all like it usually was round. He also used fake credit cards when on the food beat. (If youve ever served or cooked for Robin Parker or John Maroni, lets hope you didnt screw everything up.) This one isn't a secret: Last month, Bruni quit his run as critic to publicize his book, which he couldnt do very well while trying to remain hidden to chefs who wanted to kill him or cook him the best meal of his life. Today, he unburdens himself. Look around the room: More than a couple of professional eaters should be lapping it all up.
Sat., Sept. 12, 5 p.m., 2009