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 writings of Kevin Killian have garnered appreciation from the Bay Area gay literary universe and beyond (count Dennis Cooper, Susie Bright, and Wayne Koestenbaum among his admirers) for many years, charming readers with experimental and arresting meditations on the erotic, the line between life and fiction, and the one and only Kylie Minogue. His latest release, Impossible Princess, takes its name from the Australian pop singers sixth studio album and includes short stories about a late-night tryst in a panther cage, a sexual assault inside a copy machine, and the undergarments of a former member of a British boy band. Last year saw the publication of his Action Kylie, a book of poems inspired by Miss Minogue, as well as My Vocabulary Did This to Me, a collection of works by San Francisco Renaissance poet Jack Spicer co-edited by Killian (who also co-wrote the Spicer biography Poet Be Like God). With two previous story collections (including the 1996 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award-winning Little Men), a handful of plays, three novels and a fourth on the way next year, Killians oeuvre continues to grow while amusing, confusing, and arousing readers who stumble upon or seek out his writing. Theres no time like the present to hear the author read, and to become better acquainted with his singular and peculiar body of work.
Thu., Dec. 3, 7 p.m., 2009