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 were recently surprised to learn that, while print and e-book publishing lan- guishes, audiobooks do better and better with every passing year. (Downloads in 2015 were up 38 percent over 2014.) We like to imagine that it’s the allure of the well-trained dramaturge that makes emotional connections while leaving some- thing to the listener’s imagination — not background noise for long commutes. In such a case, there can be no finer pleasure than a staged reading by longtime favorites Word for Word, a company that has brought countless short stories from page to stage, including “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, “The Fall River Axe Murders” by Angela Carter, “Berenice” by Edgar Allan Poe, and “The Bunch- grass Edge of the World” by Annie Proulx. During “Off the Page,” devotees help the company massage prose into parts, and sometimes, as was the case with Al- ice Munro’s work, choose the next story for production. Tonight, the actors ap- proach short fiction from Jamie Quatro’s highly lauded IWanttoShowYou More, which explores faith, (in)fidelity, and family along the border between Georgia and Tennessee.More
A storytelling night with Carnie Asada, Profundity, Coco Buttah, Mahlae Balenciaga, Greg der Ananian, and Fauxnique, celebrates Shark Week with accounts of dangerous, deadly, and treacherous creatures.More
Be there when Cara Black discusses her new book: Murder on the Quai. Aimee Leduc is in her first year of college at Paris's preeminent medical school. But Aimee's world is crumbling: her boyfriend is leaving her, her father leaves for Berlin for a mysterious errand and asks Aimee to look after his detective agency. She begins to investigate a murder. A book sale by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library follows the event.More
The shadowy world of classified military projects, which accounts for $32 billion a year in funding, is a curious place. The people involved cant tell you anything about it -- theyd have to kill you -- but they like to wear spiffy identifying patches front and center on their uniforms. And what do badges for dark, secret ops look like? Absolutely incredible -- but also nutbag crazy. Theres a naked woman riding a killer whale, a dragon clutching the Earth, and an alien eating a B-2, along with a hefty dose of goose-pimpling text like A Lifetime of Silence, The Ghost Squadron, and We Make Threats Not Promises. Youll also find lots of grim reapers, Latin, occult symbols, and other manly stuff that would be right at home on a Megadeth T-shirt. Although the actual projects the patches refer to remain on need-to-know basis -- and were way down on that list -- the emblems do leave you with the feeling were in good hands, at least with regard to secretly funded awesome patch-making. Local artist Trevor Paglen, who regularly documents our classified government, shows off his collection in the book I Could Tell You but Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon's Black World. Today, he joins photographer Michael Light, who often works with covert images, and writer Rebecca Solnit in a discussion titled Landscape Is Destiny.
Sat., April 12, 3 p.m., 2008