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
Of all the magicians telling stories at “Abracadabra! Stories about Magic with Porchlight,” one will be given a wide berth: James “the Amazing” Randi. An accomplished magician, in 1956 he beat Houdini’s time trapped in an underwater coffin by 13 minutes, and he escaped from a straightjacket while hanging upside down over Niagara Falls in 1975. But for the past 40 years, he’s achieved his most fearsome feats by knocking the legs out from under performers who tout supernatural abilities. He took down spoon-bender Uri Geller and telekinesis-fraud James Hydrick on national television. Since 1964 he has offered a $1 Million Challenge to anyone who can offer proof of the paranormal. Actually, the prize is $1,201,219.64, according to the most recent bank statement, which is available on his site (73 percent fixed income, 22 percent equities — Randi also knows how to balance a portfolio). Tonight’s other storytellers are magicians Eric Mead and Joe Pon, who owns local magic shop Misdirections. Also Stallion, who could end the night $1 million richer, if his website is to be believed. Stallion and the others have much to fear: Randi has a lifetime of amazing stories in his bag of tricks.
Thu., Jan. 12, 7 p.m., 2012