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
Coffee loyalty runs deep in San Francisco, and if asked to come up with a choice between Sightglass, Four Barrel, Ritual, or Blue Bottle, we might hiss and run away, flaring our frilled neck like a frightened Aussie lizard.
Our first experience with the San Francisco Pet Owner came during a walk through Hayes Valley. A woman exclaimed, "Look Amy! A corgi!" We initially thought she was addressing a child, but upon further investigation we discovered the woman was conversing with her own dog. We now know the pets of San Francisco cannot be classified as simple companions; they're members of the family. They are talked to as if they were children, can be seen sporting designer clothing, and often lead fabulous lives. They'll obviously need spiritual guidance to continue with their successful lives, and just such a thing happens today at the Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi. (We're sure it also does a world of good for the people whose children are actually corgis.) It's the Blessing of the Animals, part of the North Beach Festival, which also includes musical performances, arts and crafts booths, and Italian street painting. And when we say street painting, that's exactly what we mean -- the artwork spans large areas, with often photorealistic results. The festival celebrates North Beach's rich cultural history, including the Beat Movement and the Italian community. Spaces on the city's oldest street (Grant) can be purchased for (human) children to make their own masterpieces with chalk.
June 16-17, 10 a.m., 2012