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
Whether they're looking for a set of lost car keys, Einstein's brain, or Elvis, human beings are rarely satisfied unless they're in pursuit of some desired goal. The search for spiritual enlightenment is one of humanity's most common quests, and many such journeys have been chronicled on the stage, from New York storyteller H. R. Britton's Jesus Rant, which just appeared in San Francisco's Fringe Festival, to People's Temple, Leigh Fondakowski's 2005 drama about the tragic events leading up to the deaths in Guyana of more than 900 devotees of preacher Jim Jones. Writer, performer, and filmmaker Barry Smith beats his own path to Mecca with Jesus in Montana: Adventures in a Doomsday Cult, his solo show about the religious epiphany that led to his own journey to find Jesus. While working a dishwashing job in Aspen, Colorado, in the early 1990s, taking lots of hallucinogenic drugs, and trying to put his Southern Fundamentalist Christian past behind him, Smith came to the conclusion that Jesus had returned and was residing in Montana. With the aid of home movies, a slideshow, and self-knowing wit, Smith recounts his true-life experiences on the religious road.
Wed., Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m., 2007