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
The Big Guns of the Northern California dance world come out to play at the A.W.A.R.D. Show, starting tonight. International touring companies, grant-getters, award-winners, and innovators show up for this American Idol-style round robin with a great big $10,000 grand prize. For the first three nights, four choreographers display 15-minute pieces; you vote for a winner after participating in post-show discussion with critics and the creators themselves. On the 15th, the three winners go at it again, and again, the audience gets a vote -- not the only vote, with this much money hanging in the balance, come on. A panel of excruciatingly experienced, and let's assume totally impartial judges also have a large say in who gets the wad. Obviously, dance fans win every night, as the likes of Liss Fain, Manuelito Biag, Kara Davis, Dominic Duong, and others bring out their very, very, very best stuff.
Jan. 12-15, 8 p.m., 2011