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
Matthieu Kassovitz' 1995 film La Haine is sort of hard to watch, but it's even harder to muddle your way through the world without it. In the hardheaded look at the unhappy world of Paris banlieu life, suburban means gritty, ugly, and tough. And racist, everybody's racist. France remains in the grip of an identity crisis, which basically involves the equation Frenchness = whiteness. But then what about all these other people who live in France? They work, and pay taxes, and read the paper, and fight in the military, but they're "not French." Oh, and they're not innocent, either. America, does this sound at all familiar to you?
Wed., Sept. 24, 7 p.m., 2008