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 will dispense with the double entendres: Carol Doda, who we lost in November, was a San Francisco hero who will be rightly celebrated and remembered as long as the town she helped create still stands, the torch held aloft along Broadway and kept alight in neon.
A tightly wound bundle of everything and its oppositean anti-authoritarian who ran for sheriff of Aspen, a peace-loving gun nut, an iconoclast who relished winners as much as any football coachthe late Hunter S. Thompson pioneered what might be called psychic-war correspondence: corrosive inner dispatches from the long goodbye of 60s idealism. Alex Gibneys fascinating doc makes Thompson a complex, looming presence, using the authors words (read by Johnny Depp) as rueful commentary. Buttressed by interviews with his collaborators (including illustrator Ralph Steadman), archival snippets, and vintage Thompson footage, the bulk of Gibneys film is devoted to just three books: Hells Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and his last major work, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 72a trilogy that made Thompson a counterculture idol as well as a literal and figurative cartoon character. As director, Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) relies too often on glib simplification and smirky music montages of social unrest. But by refocusing attention on Thompsons blazing gift, however unevenly it burned, Gonzo reclaims him from the fate he described for the Angels: The mystique was stretched so thin it finally became transparent.
July 4-17, 2008