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
It’s rare, but now and again a production makes our skin tingle not because of what happened on the stage but what happened to the stage. Light becomes weather, walls become rivers, boxes become cities; magically, the world beyond the proscenium becomes as complex and fluid as a dream. Great stage design is equal parts poetry and trickery. Little wonder then that Anne Patterson was chosen to design a museum exhibit on Houdini. Her work has also appeared everywhere from Saturday Night Live to the Kennedy Center, but it is her exquisite collaborations with symphony orchestras that have brought audiences to their feet. With her designs — sometimes rich and audacious, as with Saint-Saens’ Henry VIII; sometimes delicate, as with Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony Op. 110 — Patterson has created synesthesia, and revived classical audiences. This year, Patterson may do the same for church. As Grace Cathedral’s artist in residence, Patterson uses sound, light, and art to transform the architecture (don’t worry, she has a degree in architecture from Yale). The first installation, “Seeing the Voice,” opens with cellist Joshua Roman. Guests are invited to bring cushions to experience different aural and perceptual vantage points.
Mon., March 11, 7:30 p.m., 2013