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
Nothing caps off a nice day at the beach like a mouthful of sand — especially if the grit in your teeth is the reward for the grit required to splay flat-out on your stomach, for the prize of a plastic disc in your hand, and all the glory that comes along with it.
San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum houses the largest collection of Asian art in the Western world. But once the sun goes down tonight, the traditional art museum kicks off its amazing summer lineup with Phantoms Arise!, an after-hours art mash up of epic proportions. Poets, DJs, drag queen divas, and tattoo artists are on hand to celebrate Phantoms of Asia, the museum’s first large-scale contemporary art exhibit about spirituality and the supernatural in Asian culture. Determined to use the museum’s space not just to showcase artwork, organizers of the event aim to provide a place for artists in different disciplines to intermingle and experiment. Litquake poets, including Paul Hoover and Justin Chin, wander the galleries, reading work inspired by the 60 pieces in the Phantoms exhibit. Heklina, of the longest running drag show Trannyshack, leads a performance conjuring dead divas. A screening of the locally filmed episode of the tattoo artist web series, Gypsy Gentleman, plays in the background. And DJ Vin Sol, who has worked with acts like M.I.A., Die Antwood, and Too Short, provides a phantom-inspired soundtrack for dancing.
Thu., June 28, 5 p.m., 2012