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.
A yellow bird hands a pamphlet to a grey bird. Then a deciduous tree gives a comic book to an evergreen. After a volcano gives a chapbook to a mountain, the Earth turns the Sun on to the main product at the San Francisco Zine Fest. That's the story of Joe Sayers' artwork on the SFZF poster, and it makes the important point: Enjoyment of homemade publications is not limited to yellow birds. This year, the two-day event hosts special guests such as disturbed local death-story collector John Marr of Murder Can Be Fun, and Sayers, the artist responsible for online comic Thingpart. But everyone in the zine world knows it's not about hero worship. It's about trading. The main attraction here is to walk around the exhibitors' tables and maybe look at their stuff while furiously swapping your own publication for copies of other random people's zines. If successful, you could wind up with enough material to keep the TV off for several days.
Oct. 5-6, 2 p.m., 2007